Though the EP elections take place only once every five years, for the chosen politicians and all the colleagues they bring along to Brussels, they can result in a very well paid job. However, the fragmented Czech political scene fights for more than finances. The elections are a test which will prove the extent to which the quite unfavorable voters’ polls are reliable.
For example, the opposition, the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), currently has two MEPs, but it used to have nine of them. However, ODS could only dream about this number of mandates, because it is no longer the only party of an anti-Brussels wing and moreover, has nothing special to offer. Even taking into account the fact that many voters know MEP Jan Zahradil, the long-term leader of ODS in the EP, the party has to admit that this politician will attract hardly anybody.
The party structures do not want interesting candidates, such as former Minister and Senator Alexander Vondra, to go higher. In short, ODS is worried about positions and finances, so its offer sounds like, “Vote for our inventory”.
But there is another hitch in the elections: even if ODS gets more mandates than in previous elections, overtaken by the Pirates, it will hardly pretend it’s a triumph.
The Pirates as a populist party without opinion and anchoring is generally considered pro-European, although it highlights and associates the elements of the extreme left or Pro-Russian activists. The Pirates will be persuading us of an undoubted pro-Western orientation, but the nominees say the contrary in important posts. On the other hand, the Pirates benefit from being a new and unexplored party, and so does the government’s ANO.
In the EP elections, especially the smaller or declining parties will fight for contact with Brussels as the center of EU policy. Furthermore, the elections will test the extent to which the relatively unfavorable voters´ polls are reliable.
No doubt, this year´s European elections will not be secondary elections for Czech politics at all.