Navigation path

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in the Czech Republic say about integration?

Elections for Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are being held on May 23 through 26! For this occasion, the European Web Site on Integration is publishing a series on what national political parties are saying about migrant and refugee integration in the EU.

The integration of migrants and refugees has received relatively little attention in the Czech political party programmes for the European Parliament elections. Generally, the issue of migration is approached from the perspective of security, with the parties elaborating on topics like asylum policy, protection of external EU borders and the externalisation of the management of migratory flows.

In the next European Parliament, the Czech Republic will have 21 MEPs. According to a poll carried out from March 16 to May 3 by the Median research agency, the elected MEPs are likely to come from:

  • ANO (Yes)
  • Czech Pirate Party
  • Civic Democratic Party
  • Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
  • Czech Social Democratic Party
  • TOP09/STAN coalition
  • Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party
  • Freedom and Direct Democracy

ANO, Czech Pirate Party, Civic Democratic Party and Freedom and Direct Democracy are expected to gain seats compared to the 2014 elections, while the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, Czech Social Democratic Party, TOP09/STAN coalition and Christian and Democratic Union - Czechoslovak People’s Party are expected to lose seats. The Free Citizens Party, which has one seat in the current parliamentary term, is expected to lose that seat.

One integration-related debate took place during the pre-election period—an integration expert discussion held on 27 March 2019 in Prague. In addition to this, an anti-immigrant rally organised by the Freedom and Direct Democracy party took place in Prague in late April.

The parties generally approach integration issues indirectly. The most commonly addressed integration-related topics are those related to diversity and social cohesion, with two parties—ANO and the Christian and Democratic Union/Czechoslovak People’s Party—stating their opposition to xenophobia, racism and/or discrimination. One party, Freedom and Direct Democracy, explicitly rejects multiculturalism.

DIVERSITY & SOCIAL COHESION

ANO

Original Text

“Taktéž trváme na tom, aby národní úřady rozhodovaly o legální ekonomické migraci kupříkladu v návaznosti na potřeby domácí ekonomiky.”

Unofficial Translation

We refuse to participate in the exaggeration of fear of potential security threats, because this leads to the rise of extremism and xenophobia.

Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party

Original Text

“… systematický boj s antisemitismem a všemi formami rasismu …”

Unofficial Translation

… constant fight with antisemitism and all forms of racism …

 

Freedom and Direct Democracy

Original Text

“NE pozitivní diskriminaci menšin a podpoře politických neziskových organizací. Evropská unie dotuje znašich peněz mnoho neziskových organizací, které podporují ideologii neomarxismu, genderu a multikulturalismu. Odmítáme pozitivní diskriminaci etnických, náboženských či sexuálních menšin. Pravidla mají platit pro všechny a každý příchozí se musím přizpůsobit hodnotám naší většinové společnosti” (Str. 3)

Unofficial Translation

NO positive discrimination of minorities and support of political NGOs. The EU uses our money to subsidise many NGOs that support neo-marxist, gender and multicultural ideologies. We refuse positive discrimination of ethnic, religious or sexual minorities. Rules must apply for everybody and each newly arrived person must adopt values of our majority society. (Page 3)

 

The Czech Pirate Party wants to fight discrimination in access to health care.

HEALTH

Czech Pirate Party

Text in Czech

“Zákaz (přímé i nepřímé) diskriminace v přístupu ke zdravotní péči, bez ohledu na zdroje dostupné státu.”

Text in English

“No discrimination (direct or indirect) in access to health care, irrespective of the resources available to a state.”

 

The Pirate Party is also the only party to make express demands regarding the rights of asylum seekers. These demands relate to employment and family reunification.

EMPLOYMENT

Czech Pirate Party

Text in Czech

“Evropští Piráti požadují společnou evropskou azylovou politiku, která zavede následující: zajištění svobody usazování v Evropě pro ty, jejichž žádost byla schválena…” [referring to the freedom to pursue work as a self-employed individual in other Member States]

Text in English

“European Pirates demand a common European Asylum Policy that implements the following: ensures freedom of establishment in Europe for those whose application was approved…” [referring to the freedom to pursue work as a self-employed individual in other Member States]

 

FAMILY REUNIFICATION, PERMITS & NATURALISATION

Czech Pirate Party

Text in Czech

“Evropští Piráti požadují společnou evropskou azylovou politiku, která… podpora možnosti opětovného sloučení rodiny nejprve pro ty, jejichž žádost byla schválena.”

Text in English

“European Pirates demand a common European asylum policy that… promotes the possibility of family reunification first for those whose application was approved.”

 

Regarding rights, the Czech Pirate Party and the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party both mention the protection of the rights of minorities.

RIGHTS & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party

Original Text

“Naše politika je založena na zásadách: … dodržování lidských práv, ochrany práv příslušníků menšin, zachování míru a úsilí o prosazování společného blaha…”

Unofficial Translation

Our policy is based on principles: … adhere to human rights, protect rights of minorities, preserve peace and enforce common good…

 

Czech Pirate Party

Text in Czech

Piráti pevně věří, že všichni lidé musí mít právo na spravedlivé a rovné zacházení. Je nezbytné, aby společnost respektovala práva menšin. Postavíme se proti jakékoli diskriminaci a hnutím, která působí proti lidským právům.

Text in English

Pirates strongly believe that all people must have the right to fair and equal treatment. It is essential that society respects the rights of minorities. We will stand against discrimination of any kind and oppose movements that act against Human Rights.

 

It is worth noting that several parties, such as the Christian and Democratic Union, Communist Party, Freedom and Direct Democracy and ANO, raise concerns about Islamic radicalism in Europe, implicitly indicating that (radicalised) Muslims cannot integrate into European society. However, as these statements do not specifically discuss the issue of integration, they are not part of this analysis.

The Freedom and Direct Democracy party is the most strident in its approach to migration. It wants to cancel European subsidies that support multiculturalism and “mass immigration”.

BUDGET, CAPACITY & RESEARCH

Freedom and Direct Democracy

Original Text

“PODPOŘÍME zrušení evropských dotací na škodlivé nesmysly… Chceme také zabránit tomu,aby eurodotace šly na podporu multikulturalismu, masové imigrace...” (Str. 2)

Unofficial Translation

We support cancelation of European subsidies for harmful nonsense… We want to prevent using euro-subsidies for support of multiculturalism, mass immigration… (Page 3)

 

Only one party mentions the word “integration” explicitly; the Communist Party considers people from neighbouring countries to be capable of integrating “relatively smoothly”, while the problem is “the tens of millions of citizens of Africa and Asia who desire to live in rich Europe”.

OTHER

Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia

Original Text

“[bod] 35: Velké téma migrace zbavit všech zástěrek a předsudků. Evropská unie má dlouholetou zkušenost s přílivem migrantů ze sousedních nečlenských zemí. Blízkost a kulturně historická provázanost umožnily těmto příchozím se relativně bezproblémově integrovat. Problémem není jednotlivec, ale desítky milionů obyvatel Afriky a Asie toužící po životě v bohaté Evropě…”

Unofficial Translation

Point 35: Getting rid of all prejudices in the big issue of migration. The EU has been for a long time experiencing an influx of immigrants from neighbouring non-member countries. This geographic proximity and cultural-historical interconnectedness has allowed newly arrived immigrants from these countries to integrate relatively smoothly. The problem is the tens of millions of citizens of Africa and Asia who desire to live in rich Europe, rather than an individual person.

 

See the party programmes: ANO (Yes), Czech Pirate Party, Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party (KDU-CSL), Civic Democratic Party, Freedom and Direct Democracy, Tradition Responsibility Prosperity – Mayors and Independents (Top09 & STAN coalition), Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (website and document), Czech Social Democratic Party

The Czech Pirate Party signed a common programme for the European Parliament elections along with 12 other national Pirate Parties.

Curious about political parties in other EU countries? See the analyses for other Member States.