Daily Management Review

Is Czech Republic posing a threat to the European Union?


Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babiš recently said that he wants to join the Italian-Hungarian "anti-immigration axis". Lately, he made it clear that Europe must fight for its culture and values in the conditions of the migration crisis.

He also added that recent riots in Germany have shown how easily an uncontrolled influx of migrants can lead to explosive situations.

"Chemnitz is a great example!" - said Babiš on Sunday, referring to the chaos that swept the East German city last week.

"I have explained more than once that this is a struggle for preservation of our European civilization and culture, we do not want to live in Africa or the Middle East. We need to fight for our values. Have you seen pictures of ships with migrants heading towards tourist beaches? Europeans are shocked! The same thing happened in Chemnitz: it was not just a murder that was committed, it was the murder of teenage girls after rape," Babiš said.

Last week, the German city of Chemnitz turned into an arena of confrontation between anti-immigrants and anti-fascists, after migrants from Iraq and Syria killed a local German. The authorities condemned the subsequent acts of violence. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on the Germans to confront extremists, although he criticized many of his colleagues, calling them too lazy to oppose racism.

Babiš noted that the events in Chemnitz once again prove that the influx of migrants creates explosive situations when foreigners engage in skirmishes with the local population. Such cases are extremely dangerous for Europe, as the tension in Germany affects neighboring countries.

The Minister reiterated his desire to resist attempts of the European Commission to force the country to accept migrants. He believes that it practically undermines foundations of EU migration policy, urging European states to "unite" in order to jointly make a viable decision on the migration issue.

Last week, Andrei Babiš went to Italy, Hungary and Malta. He intends to achieve solidarity on the part of the authorities regarding his approach to the solution of the migration problem. On Wednesday, he is going to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Foreign Minister Maas previously claimed that the EU should not force its individual members to accept asylum seekers, and Babiš agrees.

European analysts perceived victory of President Miloš Zeman in the January elections this year and the reappointment of Andrei Babiš to the post of prime minister as confirmation of the growth of Eurosceptism. In reality, however, everything is not so unambiguous. Both Zeman and Babiš know well that the country would incur huge economic losses from Czexit, and they almost certainly will not support the referendum. In addition, both President and the Prime Minister are publicly distancing themselves from radical anti-European voices in the Czech government and refuse to cooperate with those who advocate secession from the EU.

Following results of the presidential elections of 2018, only one party of Eurosceptics, the Freedom and Direct Democracy party under the leadership of Tomio Okamura (SPD), managed to pass into the lower house of the Czech parliament.

However, as long as politicians use the European Union as a scapegoat - be it Zeman's criticism of officials in Brussels or Babiš’ dissatisfaction with migratory quotas, Czech euro-skepticism remains a real threat to the European Union.

source: reuters.com