NECE

22.11.2017

Shifting political landscape in Central Europe

Comment by Terezie Vávrová, Civic Education Centre, Czech Republic

Terezie VávrováTerezie Vávrová (© Terezie Vavrova)
The 2017 Czech legislative election was held in October and since then the negotiation of a new coalition has taken place.

Opinion polls showed ANO – the anti-establishment party founded by a billionaire oligarch Babiš – leading since early 2014, with their lead gradually increasing to double digits. The Social Democrats had been losing ground since early 2017. The result was a victory for ANO, which received 29.6% of the vote and 78 seats. The centre-right Civic Democratic Party was the second strongest party, receiving 11.3% and 25 seats. The ruling Czech Social Democratic Party was marginalised to 7% and came sixth. The Czech Pirate Party and Freedom and Direct Democracy both received over 10% and became new parliamentary parties. Nine parties entered the lower chamber, resulting in the most fragmented Chamber of Deputies in the history of the Czechia. This was also the first time that neither of the traditional mainstream parties won the election.

The Czech economy has experienced rapid growth, a balanced budget and the lowest unemployment in the EU in the last four years, but the Social Democrats, who led a government with ANO and another partner, have not been able to capitalise. Babiš’s ANO party, which has vowed to cut taxes, increase investments and curb immigration, took advantage of voters’ desire for change by promising to fight corruption, stop deeper EU integration and prevent the country from accepting quotas for taking in refugees imposed by Brussels. Babiš himself has promised to bring a businessman’s touch to government.

ANO was not the only anti-establishment party to do well. Among the biggest surprises in the election was the strong showing by Freedom & Direct Democracy (SPD), the extreme right-wing party of Tomio Okamura, of mixed Czech and Japanese descent. Such right-wing parties, which have taken root elsewhere in Eastern Europe, had been largely inconsequential in Czech politics. ANO will have to form a coalition, with talks likely to take weeks. If negotiations with mainstream parties fail, there is the possibility ANO may form a cabinet with backing from the Communists and the far-right SPD.

There is concern that Babiš as Prime Minister could join a nationalist bloc with Poland and Hungary and deepen the rift between the EU and many of its eastern members.


Long time no see: Still remember the NECE database?

The database is designed for networking and transparency among organisations and experts in European citizenship education. So please register yourself or your organisation and keep you profile up to date!
→ Go to the database!

Newsbox

NECE Newsletter 02/2019
http://nece.lab-concepts.de/newsletter/NL_0219.html

Useful information ahead of the EU elections on nece.eu
Going to the polls can make a difference, as Brexit and other electoral shocks have shown. Elections do matter! Read more about it here.

Interview with Sarah de Lange
Our new Advisory Board member, Sarah de Lange, introduces herself to NECE. Read the interview here.

NECE Conference 2018: Brave new Worlds?! The Future of Democracy and Citizenship Education
6 - 9 September 2018, Marseille (France)
Conference documentation available here.

Lorenzo Marsili on the parliamentary elections in Italy
NECE asked Lorenzo Marsili in what way the results of the parliamentary elections in Italy fit in Europe’s current political landscape. Read the comment here.

bpb statement to the Public consultation on EU funds in the area of values and mobility
The consultation took place as part of the preparations for the Multiannual Financial Framework which will define and shape the EU Budget after 2020. Click here for the PDF-Icon statement and the PDF-Icon questionnaire.

DARE (Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe) Mini-conference on Populism and Democratic Resilience
14 June 2018 in Nafplio, Greece
Find out more

25th EUROCLIO Annual Conference and Professional Training and Development Course: Mediterranean Dialogue
April 21-26 2018 in Marseille
Find out more

Eurydice Brief: Citizenship Education at School in Europe – 2017
In an age where the importance of citizenship education is becoming apparent to deal with the current threats to fundamental European values, many countries are implementing changes in their national policies. Read more here

NAME CHANGE: “Hard to Reach” Focus Group now “All-in network” - Your chance to get involved!
Labelling learners as “Hard to Reach” immediately suggests that the problem lies with the learner rather than the educational system.
Find out more

MAPPING TRANSITION IN EASTERN EUROPE: Experience of Change after the End of Communism, edited by Louisa Slavkova
Click here for the publication

Civic Education in Eastern Europe - bpb publishes collection of essays as free e-book
The publication is available in English and Russian language.