Tuesday 10 March 2009

European Parliament elections 2009 (61): Campaign and outcome expectations for the Czech Republic

In the country currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union - the Czech Republic - the EU Parliament campaign starts to develop.

On Euractiv, the following expectations have been formulated last week:
Internal rather than pan-European issues are largely expected to dominate debates during the pre-election period. The opposition CSSD [PES member] is widely expected to win the elections and will consider the ballot successful if it gains eight to ten of the 22 seats reserved for Czech MEPs.
Sounds like everything is clear in advance?!

I wonder whether the Council Presidency will not give a bonus to the governmental parties, especially if they will be able to create positive images in connection with certain EU-related events.

Interesting to see is also this Euractiv assessment:
The battle for seats in Brussels will mostly be fought on the Internet. The Civic Democrats [ODS], in particular, announced their intention to use social media, in a similar manner to US President Barack Obama [...] [And] CSSD was the first to launch a so-called "permanent campaign" aimed at keeping in touch with people at all times by means of "mini-campaigns". Such mini-campaigns include online advertising, special websites and so on.
Sounds like these elections will be the first Europe-wide elections where many parties, national and European, have decided to test the usage of internet and especially social media.

My interpretation of these developments (despite the Obama hype): National parties until now do not have much to lose (taking into account the second-order image of the EP elections), so this campaign is the perfect opportunity to try everything and adapt it for the next "important" elections.

It is very interesting to see these developments in the Czech Republic, in particular because of the interconnection with the EU Council Presidency.

Under the category "European parliament elections 2009" I am following up national and European activities on the path to the European Parliament elections 2009.

For an overview over all articles in this category have a look at the overview article.

For the five newest post see also the sidebar.


Ralf Grahn said...


Do you really expect the Czech Council Presidency to turn out to be a bonus for the ruling ODS party, even at home?

Julien Frisch said...

Well, I am not an expert in Czech politics, but in general the Presidency (even in the Czech case) allows some possibilities to present itself in a different context, with nice pictures, consensual statements etc.

Whether this will pay out this time - I don't know, but since there are still 3 month to come, the government will have a number of possibilities to present its European agenda, an advantage compared to the other competitors.

This could have an influence on the results, but I it is speculation.

citizen of Europe said...

"Internal rather than pan-European issues are largely expected to dominate debates during the pre-election period"
Is there any state at all where the pan-European issues prevail over the internal ones?

"Do you really expect the Czech Council Presidency to turn out to be a bonus for the ruling ODS party, even at home?"
The running Czech presidency makes the governing party ODS more popular than it was before it, last public opinion investigations show the presidency is being seen succesful by people in the CzR now, so it could make an advantage for the governing ODS in the oncoming elections.

Julien Frisch said...

@ citizen

To you first question: No, I don't think that there is any such country. But it is important to keep track of the reality, in order to make visible this national-issue orientation.

Unknown said...

In Czech republic
Elections will be dominated by internal issues: split of the Green party and of the ODS (EPP-ED group).
Internal turmoils is result of the changes in the US. ODS was strongly aligned with Bush era neocon policies such as NMD (anti-rocket) bases in Czech republic and Poland. As the US policy changed, they feel abbandoned and are disoriented.
The fall of government is a possibility.

Czech citizen

Julien Frisch said...

Thanks Petr for the info!