Civic Democratic Party (ODS)
The ruling Civic Democratic Party (ODS) has not yet unveiled its campaign programme and until the end of April refused to answer even basic questions regarding the European Parliament elections.
The only thing that is clear so far is that the list of candidates will be topped by MEP Jan Zahradil. Second on the list is former governor of Moravia-Silesia, Evzen Tosenovsky, and third is another MEP, Oldrich Vlasak.
Regarding energy, ODS MEPs are expected to support efforts to diversify energy supplies (like the disputed Nabucco pipeline), as well as a renaissance of nuclear energy.
To deal with the economic crisis, ODS wants to support business without massive spending aimed at boosting demand.
Support for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty is uncertain, even though Prime Minister-in-resignation Mirek Topolánek voiced his backing for the document. The party itself remains divided on the issue (including MEPs).
ODS declared recently that it would pull out of the EPP-ED group and, together with the UK's Conservatives, would form a new eurosceptic party.
Social Democrats (CSSD)
The Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) chose Jiri Havel, a university teacher, former deputy prime minister in charge of the economic issues and current shadow education minister, to top its list of candidates. Current MEP and long-standing trade union boss Richard Falbr is second, and another current MEP, Libor Roucek, is third on the list.
According to its manifesto, the CSSD is anchored in the European structure thanks to its close cooperation with the Party of European Socialists (PES), of which CSSD is a member.
As the economic crisis continues, the CSSD is pushing for measures to increase consumer demand while at the same time preserving current social expenditure and strengthening price regulation of monopolies (for example, by promoting the "rational" development of electricity prices), stopping privatisation of public property and improving coordination of monetary and fiscal policy.
In energy policy as well as in its approach to climate change, the party is positioned firmly in the European mainstream – it wants to promote savings in energy consumption, improve energy infrastructure and support renewable resources.
CSSD supports a speedy ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and continued EU enlargement.
European Democratic Party (EDS)
The European Democratic Party (EDS) is a new political entity which, according to its official statement, wants to emphasise the "quality of [its] list of candidates and team".
The party relies on the abilities of its leader and respected MEP Jana Hybaskova, who is an expert on foreign affairs. When drawing up its list of candidates, the EDS sought to cover all the important areas of EU concern: security, defence, energy (General Jiri Sedivy), European funds and enlargement (Vera Jourova), and science research and education (Ivan Wilhelm).
The EDS is planning a reserved campaign centred primarily on European issues which can be resolved in the EU assembly. The party wants to refrain from using words that would go beyond its own capacity, effectiveness and expertise.
The EDS is strongly pro-European. Standing "against the fragmentation of Europe," it aims to consolidate economic ties within the EU. The party thinks that adopting the single currency and thorough use of European funding for science and research would help the Czech Republic to overcome the current economic crisis more effectively.
The EDS wants to unify the energy policies of EU member states, improve the interconnection of networks and search for feasible alternatives, with a particular emphasis on nuclear energy. The party unanimously supports the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and EU enlargement.
Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL)
The KDU-CSL wants to appeal to voters with the help of well-known faces that represented the party in the last European elections.
Zuzana Roithova has gained a reputation for protecting the rights of European consumers, while Jan Brezina – apart from having dealt with energy issues – has defended manufacturers of traditional Czech products.
The Christian Democrats emphasise their role in the European People's Party (EPP). They are consulting within the EPP regarding the management of their campaign. According to KDU-CSL's campaign manager Jaroslav Polacek, his party managed to prove that European issues influence Czech life and is therefore convinced of the need to address these issues further in this year's campaign.
The party wants to handle the economic crisis from below by supporting small businesses and thus preventing unemployment. The Christian Democrats are continuing to stress the need to co-finance export stimulation projects from both EU and national budgets. The costs of the proposed measures must not cause state debt to rise, they say.
Regarding energy policy, KDU-CSL supports carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, energy-saving initiatives and the development of nuclear energy.
The Christian Democrats are for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM)
The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) is looking to capitalise on the successes of its current MEPs. Top spot on the list belongs to current MEP Miloslav Ransdorf, who is followed by his two colleagues in the EU assembly: former astronaut Vladimir Remek and doctor Jiri Mastalka.
In the European Parliament, KSCM is part of the Confederation of European United Left and Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL).
To remedy the crisis, KSCM supports "economic self-sufficiency" (state investments aimed at boosting the economy, etc.), "tax equity" (increasing tax progression and property declaration), increased social aid, and changes to the orientation of the Czech economy (to a greater extent to countries other than those of the EU and the USA).
The party is calling for the establishment of a new state bank, which would offer loans to businesses and businessmen on the verge of bankruptcy.
The Communists would also introduce measures "against speculative capital" and reduce value-added tax on food, electricity and heating by 5%.
Regarding energy, KSCM wants to improve relations with countries on which the EU depends for energy supplies, and has not ruled out nuclear energy.
The party is against ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and is demanding a referendum on the issue.
SNK-ED (European Democrats)
Three of the five top candidates of SNK-ED (the European Democrats), including leader Lukas Macek, are aged 33 or under (the other two are Jiri Plecity and Eva Palatova). What these three people have in common is not just their unusually low age, but also direct experience of the EU institutions.
Plecity, for instance, is a member of the office of European Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen. Palatova, on the other hand, is active in the foreign affairs committee of the Parliament. These candidates are complemented by the founder and director of the Nase Dite (Our Child) foundation, Zuzana Baudysova.
All of the candidates are seeking cooperation with the EPP-ED group.
According to Macek, SNK-ED offers a "pragmatic and realistic programme for right-wing or centrist voters who want the Czech Republic to be an influential member of a stable and operational EU".
SNK-ED candidates support Prague's speedy adoption of the euro and its ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
The party supports the creation of a "functioning EU energy policy" and also wants to reform the EU budget.
The party's motto reads: 'Neither isolation, nor left-wing policy'. SNK-ED supports enlargement in that it wants to "complete the EU enlargement on the Balkan peninsula". However, the party is trumpeting a "specific approach towards Turkey and Ukraine".
SNK-ED does not view European integration as an alternative to the transatlantic partnership, not even on a security level.
Party of Free Citizens (SSO)
The Party of Free Citizens (SSO), recently founded by Petr Mach, has opted for an original approach to this year's EU elections: anyone can register on the SSO website and have a say over who should be on the list of candidates (there are some 30 candidates to choose from).
The SSO wants to assume the role of a "real opposition party" opposed to "the cartel of the main EP political groups – PES and EPP-ED". SSO is against "current trends in European integration" and is thus against the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. The party is demanding a referendum on the issue, as well as a referendum on the adoption of the euro.
The opinions of the SSO regarding energy policy differ greatly from those of the European mainstream. The party wants to abandon the EU's renewable energy targets, abandon support for agrofuels, and abolish "all green euro-regulations".
The SSO wants to combat the economic crisis by respecting the Stability and Growth Pact and by banning aid for private businesses. According to the SSO, solving the economic crisis must remain within the competence of each member state.
The Green (SZ) party appointed current deputy environment minister Jan Dusik as its leading candidate. Second place on the list belongs to MP Katerina Jacques. Third place is occupied by the chair of the Greens in the Czech parliament, Premysl Rabas.
The Greens opted for the so-called "zip approach" to compiling their list of candidates, which basically means that men and women are equally represented on the list. The Greens cooperate closely with the European Green Party (EGP).
The Greens support the creation of "green working positions" and want to boost small and medium-sized businesses, "whose activity may improve the environment in the regional context".
Among the top energy policy priorities are support for renewable energy resources, energy savings, limitation of dependency on Russia, and of course climate protection.
SZ is for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, as well as for future EU enlargement.