Wednesday

27th Mar 2019

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).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • 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

Centre-right EPP faces showdown with Orban

The EU's largest political alliance, the EPP, will try to put the 'Orban issue' behind it going into the European election campaign. Hungary's ruling party, Fidesz, could be expelled or suspended from the political family.

EU countries push for new rule of law surveillance

Germany and Belgium have put forward a proposal for a "peer review" of EU countries' legal systems as member states and EU institutions struggle with disciplining member states that break EU rules.

Orban hosts Weber in Budapest for EPP showdown

The future of the Viktor Orban's Fidesz party inside the European Parliament's centre-right EPP political group hangs in the balance. On Tuesday, Orban and EPP chief Manfred Weber meet in Budapest in a final effort to iron out differences.

EPP hits threshold to trigger Orban expulsion probe

At least seven national parties from Europe's biggest political alliance, the centre-right European People's Party, want the group's 'enfant terrible', Hungary's nationalist and authoritarian Fidesz kicked out - following Budapest's latest anti-EU campaign.

News in Brief

  1. EU tables plan for joint approach to 5G security
  2. MEPs agree to scrap summer time clock changes by 2021
  3. European Parliament votes on reform of copyright
  4. New French-German parliament meets for first time
  5. EU parliament reduces polling ahead of elections
  6. UK parliament votes to take control of Brexit process
  7. EU publishes no-deal Brexit contingency plans
  8. EU urges Israel and Gaza to re-establish calm

Opinion

Catalan independence trial is widening Spain's divides

What is really needed is not the theatre of a rebellion trial, but a forensic examination of whether public funds were misused, and a process of dialogue and negotiation on how the Catalan peoples' right to self-determination can be satisfied.

Orban hosts Weber in Budapest for EPP showdown

The future of the Viktor Orban's Fidesz party inside the European Parliament's centre-right EPP political group hangs in the balance. On Tuesday, Orban and EPP chief Manfred Weber meet in Budapest in a final effort to iron out differences.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Latest News

  1. EU lawmakers pass contentious copyright law
  2. France takes Chinese billions despite EU concerns
  3. Europe before the elections - heading back to the past?
  4. Romania presidency shatters EU line on Jerusalem
  5. The Spitzen process - a coup that was never accepted
  6. Russia and money laundering in Europe
  7. Italy takes China's new Silk Road to the heart of Europe
  8. What EU leaders agreed on climate - and what they mean

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us