Czech press survey - July 8


08.07.2014 07:39

Prague - The fact that the Czech government coalition has not yet reached agreement on the name of the next Czech EU commissioner is their biggest failure, Radko Hokovsky writes in daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.


Ministr pro lidská práva Jiří Dienstbier přichází na schůzi vlády 24. března v Praze. ČTK Vondrouš Roman

If the coalition parties want to be different from the past lax governments, they must do more that make pro-European statements, Hokovsky writes.

It is a shame that the leaders of the coalition parties did not consider it important to reach the agreement on the commissioner´s name by June, after a standard political fight over the post, Hokovsky says.

It is astounding that the government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) plans to make the decision only in August. This shows that it does not see European affairs as a high priority, Hokovsky writes.

Governments of other EU countries have been lobbying in the backstage and negotiating about the portfolios for their candidates for commissioners for a long time, but Sobotka´s cabinet has overslept, Hokovsky concludes.

Lukas Jelinek in Pravo also writes that Sobotka´s cabinet seems to be thinking that there is no hurry when it plans to agree on the candidate for the Czech member of the European Commission by August.

Czech politicians mostly say it would be good to have a commissioner in charge of some economic portfolio. Probable next EC President Jean Claude Juncker recognised the industrial character of the Czech Republic, which some Czech diplomats interpret as a responsive reaction, Jelinek writes.

But what if the Czech government coalition will not be able to reach agreement on a suitable joint candidate and a for example doctor is selected? Jelinek writes.

Especially the CSSD and the Christian Democrats (junior ruling KDU-CSL) should be active in seeking the candidate as they are the strongest group in Europe, Jelinek says.

The EC will be more political after the recent European Parliament election than before and its members should be personalities with a strong political dimension, Jelinek writes.

Alexandr Mitrofanov writes elsewhere in Pravo that the Social Democrats include two groups that seem to have little in common, conservative nationalists, like Zdenek Skromach, and city liberals, like Jiri Dienstbier, now minister for human rights, equal opportunities and legislation.

These two groups strongly disagree in their view of various minorities, such as Romanies and homosexuals, as well as in their view of the country´s position in Europe and the world, Mitrofanov writes.

At present, the relation to Russia is hot issue, he says.

Dienstbier considers Vladimir Putin a potential and real aggressor. The CSSD conservative nationalists usually feel offended when they hear it. Skromach likes to use the argument that Dienstbier has U.S. citizenship (having been born in the USA) in this context, Mitrofanov says.

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