Saturday

29th Apr 2017

Czech Republic and the European Parliament elections 2004

EUOBSERVER / EP-elections 2004 - The Czech Republic is holding its first elections to the European parliament on 11 and 12 June and turnout is expected to be relatively high.

About 63 per cent of the Czech voters are planning to turn up for the ballot, according to the most recent polls (by Czech agency CVVM, June 4).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Czech eurosceptics heading for a triumph in the very first European elections (Photo: European Commission)

Support for the Czech political parties running in the European elections are almost identical to their current scores on the national level.

Eurosceptics head the field

Of the 24 seats in the European Parliament assigned for the Czech Republic, the main opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS) is expected to win the most (25.5 percent).

The conservative ODS list is topped by its deputy chairman Jan Zahradil. The party is viewed as strongly critical of the EU - an image nurtured by its former leader and current Czech President, Vaclav Klaus.

But the ODS may face problems when it comes to joining a group within the European Parliament. One of the most outspoken opponents of the ODS are the German members of the centre-right group the European People's Party (EPP-ED).

They argue that the Czech conservatives should not be accepted as members after the June elections because of their anti-European views and unwillingness to abolish the so-called Benes decrees.

The decrees, providing a legal basis for the eviction of ethnic Germans, from Czechoslovakia, were issued by President Edvard Benes in 1945.

The leading figures of the ODS hope they will manage to make a similar deal with the EPP to that of the British conservatives which will allow them to pursue their eurosceptic agenda whilst remaining within the group.

Ruling parties lag behind

The other opposition Communist party (KSCM) is running second in the polls (11.5 percent). Its list is topped by deputy chairman Miloslav Ransdorf, a pro-EU moderate candidate.

But the highlight of the communists is the second man on the list, the former Czech astronaut Vladimir Remek.

The Social democrats (CSSD) of the Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla follow with 9,5 percent. The party list is headed by the spokesman of the former government, Libor Roucek.

The CSSD has been losing ground against the opposition because of some unpopular domestic policies, but also due to the lack of coordination with its minor coalition partners: the Christian democrats, KDU-CSL and the conservatives, US-DU.

Whereas the former should get around 7.5 percent, the latter will probably not even reach the 5 percent threshold needed for the election.

Personalities, not the parties

Polls show that a large part of Czech citizens will vote for concrete personalities, without caring too much about their party membership.

And indeed, apart from the star astronaut from the pre-1989 era, the Czech race for the European Parliament has thrown up several other unusual figures including a German porn star Dolly Buster, a senator and former commercial television NOVA general director, Vladimir Zelezny and former head of the Harvard Investment Funds, Viktor Kozeny, who allegedly stole the concept for the website of his newly-founded party from the former US presidential candidate Howard Dean.

Number of MEPs to be elected: 24

Election day: 11 and 12 June 2004

Turnout in latest national election 14 and 15 June 2002: 58.0%

Distribution of current Observers in the European Parliament:

14 PPE-ED Obèanská demokratická strana (8) - Køes

EPP group frustrated with Orban

Orban's ruling Fidesz party is getting too much to handle for the EPP group, as they are once again forced to defend the Hungarian premier's controversial actions.

Analysis

Orban set to face down EU threats

The European Commission and Parliament are to debate Hungary's slide into illiberal democracy. But the bloc continues to think that Hungarian leader Viktor Orban is not a systemic threat.

European right divided on EU values after Brexit

A day after the UK notified its exit from the EU, leaders of the European People's Party expressed a different vision of Europe's identity, with Hungary's Orban calling for a stop to the Muslim "invasion".

France still anxious over possibility of Le Pen win

Despite opinion polls that place centrist Macron well ahead of the far-right leader Le Pen in the 7 May presidential run-off, doubts are emerging about his capacity to unite the French people around his candidacy.

News in Brief

  1. Vote of no confidence prepared against Spanish PM
  2. Syria to buy Russian anti-missile system
  3. Germany seeks partial burka ban
  4. Libya has no plan to stop migration flows
  5. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  6. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  7. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  8. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCharlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum Tells Kids to "Eat Well, Drink Well, Move!"
  2. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  3. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act on Climate Change
  4. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  5. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  7. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  8. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  9. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  10. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  11. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  12. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process

Latest News

  1. EP chief faces questions after homophobic 'summit'
  2. EU signals Northern Ireland could join if united with Ireland
  3. One year later: EU right to open internet still virtual
  4. Rethinking Europe's relationship with Turkey
  5. Mob storms Macedonian parliament
  6. MEPs retain secrecy on office spending
  7. May accuses EU-27 of 'lining up against Britain'
  8. Resurrected Renzi to regain leadership of Italy's ruling party