The European Parliament elected its leadership on Wednesday and two Czech MEPs – Dita Charanzová from the Liberals group and Marcel Kolaja from the Greens –were elected vice-president. I asked Libor Rouček, himself a former vice-president of the European Parliament, whether he considers this a significant success for a country the size of the Czech Republic.
Two Czech MEPs have been elected deputy chairpersons of the European
parliament. Dita Charanzová (44) of the ANO party is a member of the
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe political group. Before being
elected to the European Parliament in 2014 as an independent, she worked in
the Czech diplomatic service for over a decade. In the past election term,
she was a deputy chairwoman of the Committee on the Internal Market and
Marcel Kolaja is a newcomer to the European Parliament, serving as an MEP for the Pirate Party since the 2019 election. Mr. Kolaja, who is 39, is a computer expert working with free software and the copyright and is a member of the Greens group. As an MEP, he wants to focus on the digital agenda, IT and consumer rights.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, says it is important that none of
the so-called “spitzenkandidats” received majority support to become
president of the European Commission at a European Council meeting last
week. Spitzenkandidats are the leaders of the parties in the European
Parliament that did best in elections in May. Some of them don’t like the
territory of the Visegrad Four countries, Mr. Babiš said at a conference
on economic diplomacy at the Czech Foreign Ministry on Monday Morning.
The Czech leader said it was important that the successor to Jean-Claude Juncker not comment on political matters but rather focus on implementing the conclusions of the European Council.
As the dust settles in the wake of the European elections individual parties and movements are counting their political and financial gains and losses. The latter has little to do with the given entity’s political success, but depends largely on how much the party or movement spent on campaigning and whether they won enough votes to get a contribution from the state. In line with Czech law every party or movement that wins over 1 percent voter support gets 30 crowns for every vote collected.
Outgoing Slovak President Andrej Kiska has arrived in the Czech Republic
for his final foreign trip as head of state. He was received by Czech
president Miloš Zeman at Lány Chateau on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Kiska steps down in mid-June to be succeeded by Zuzana Čaputová. The first official visit of the newly elected Slovak president, who will be sworn in on June 15, will also lead to the Czech Republic.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s centre-right ANO party “won” the European Parliament elections this weekend. Their junior coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democrats clearly “lost”. Those are the newspaper headlines. But, as always, the political landscape is more nuanced. Mr Babiš’s foes in the main opposition parties together will have twice as many MEPs, at a time when he is under investigation for alleged EU subsidy fraud.
Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček, whose party suffered a humiliating
defeat in the European elections, has said he would not be stepping down
over the debacle, nor making any changes in the party leadership.
Hamáček said the new leadership had not had time to shift course since the party’s relatively recent election conference and that it would analyze and address the reasons behind the party’s defeat.
Losing four seats in the European Parliament is a bad blow and the party clearly needs to make a strong restart, Hamáček said. He said the party would now focus on preparing for the regional elections in the fall of next year.
In the European elections the Social Democrats only gained 3.9 percent of the vote, meaning they will not be represented in the EU Parliament.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš from the ANO Party which won the elections to
the European Parliament with 21.18 percent of the vote, told reporters on
Monday that the Social Democrats debacle in the European elections would
have no influence on the work of the coalition government.
He said he considered his party’s victory a great success in view of the fact that it had been the target of an intense and vulgar smear campaign from the media and political rivals.
The prime minister refused to comment on the Social Democrats's poor showing in the European elections
The centre-right ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, as expected,
won the European Parliament elections.
ANO got 21.2% of the vote (6 seats), the Civic Democrats 14.5% (4 seats), the Pirates 13.95% (3 seats), the alliance between TOP 09 and Mayors and Independents 11.6% (3 seats), and the Christian Democrats 7.2% (2 seats).
The far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy got 9.1% (2 seats) and the largely unreformed Communists 6.9% (1 seat).
ANO's coalition partner, the left-leaning Social Democrats, failed to gain a mandate.
Competing for the 21 mandates were a record 40 parties and movements fielded in total 841 candidates in the Czech Republic. According to the Czech Statistical Office, turnout was 28.7 percent, up from 18.2 percent five years ago.
In the EU as a whole, turnout was above 50 percent, preliminary results show.