Czech MEPs ‘all over the place’, except in S&D group

A woman casts her vote at a polling station set up in a pub during the European elections in Prague, Czech Republic, 25 May 2019. [Martin Divisek/EPA/EFE]

Czech voters have sent 21 MEPs to the European Parliament including 11 new faces. The political fragmentation seen in the new EU assembly is also reflected in the Czech contingent of MEPs. EURACTIV.cz brings an overview of all the parties and representatives.

Ruling party joins rebranded Liberal group

The ruling ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš won the European elections in the Czech Republic, but not with the comfortable majority it enjoyed at the last national election.

ANO nevertheless gained two more seats than in 2014 and will be represented by six MEPs. Dita Charanzová and Martina Dlabajová return to the Parliament, while Martin Hlaváček, Ondřej Knotek, Radka Maxová and Ondřej Kovařík make their debut.

They will sit next to Macron’s MEPs in the “Renew Europe” centrist and liberal group formerly known as the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). Although ANO will not sit in the group’s presidency, Charanzová has been a vice-president of ALDE since 2018.

Civic democrats in the shrinking ECR

Civic Democrats (ODS) from the Czech Republic have been associated with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group since its inception and will continue to do so.

Jan Zahradil was the ECR’s lead candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission and is now running for the European Parliament’s presidency.

During his campaign, Zahradil launched an appeal to “retune the EU”, but the ECR fell short in the end. He is now one of the four ODS deputies, two more than in the previous Parliament. Together with Evžen Tošenovský, he will welcome two new faces, Veronika Vrecionová and Alexander Vondra, who is a former Czech minister of foreign affairs and defence.

Green choice for Czech Pirates

The Czech Pirate Party are newcomers in the European Parliament. Before the elections, they were unsure which group to join but because Renew Europe decided to stick with Babiš, whom Pirates strongly oppose, the Pirate Party has chosen to join the Greens/EFA.

Their three representatives are Marcel Kolaja, Mikuláš Peksa and Markéta Gregorová, the president of the European Pirate Party.

Five centrist MEPs at home in the EPP

Two lists of candidates affiliated with the centre-right EPP group repeated their 2014 electoral success. A wide coalition led by pro-European central-right parties TOP 09 and STAN will send to the new Parliament current MEPs Jiří Pospíšil, Stanislav Polčák and Luděk Niedermayer – one representative less than in 2014.

Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) ran independently and gained two seats, also one less than in the previous European elections. MEPs Michaela Šojdrová and Tomáš Zdechovský return to the EP.

Czech Eurosceptics follow Salvini and Le Pen

A newly formed Eurosceptic EP group, Identity and Democracy, a successor to the ENF (Europe of Nations and Freedom), can count on two MEPs from the Czech Republic. Nationalistic Freedom and Direct Democracy party (SPD) succeeded for the first time and will be represented by Ivan David and Hynek Blaško, a controversial former general.

Weakened Communists

MEP Kateřina Konečná will once again represent the Czech Communist Party (KSČM) in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left group. KSČM have lost two seats compared to the 2014 elections.

Social Democrats did not pass the threshold

The Social Democrats (ČSSD), a junior ally in the Babiš government, lost all its four MEPs and will no longer fight for The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D).

Eurosceptic right-libertarian Party of Free Citizens (Svobodní) has also lost representation in the EP, where until now they had one MEP in the EFDD group.

Groups are ready, EU Parliament is ready to play

Seven political groups have been formed in the new European Parliament and there are two major left-outs still looking for their place ahead of the Parliament’s inaugural plenary on 2 July. Piotr Kaczyński takes a look at the groups and their Polish members, as well as at the strategic agenda for the next five years.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe

Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Subscribe now to our new 9am newsletter.