Prague, May 9 (CTK) – The victory of Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election on Sunday means a higher pressure on the Czech Republic in terms of EU membership, Czech political scientists, addressed by CTK, have agreed.
Political scientist Dan Marek, from the Palacky University in Olomouc, north Moravia, considers Macron’s success a great relief for the EU.
Filip Chrasek, analyst of the Association for International Affairs, is also of the view that the EU breathed a sigh of relief after Macron’s victory.
The result of Macron’s centrist movement En Marche!, in the upcoming parliamentary elections will be crucial for him to fulfil his programme, Marek said.
Macron’s movement has a quite promising position according to the election prognoses, he added.
Macron’s triumph in the French presidential election gives the EU a chance to make progress in its reforms. If Marine Le Pen had won, it would have caused another EU crisis, Marek said.
“Nevertheless, President Macron must be able to fulfil his reform programme to be able to revive the French-German tandem,” Marek said, referring to the general election due in June.
The crisis was averted also in relation to the Czech Republic, Marek said.
“We know that Le Pen wanted to create trade barriers, which was clearly against the interests of the Czech Republic, one of the countries that are the most dependent on trade within the single market,” Marek pointed out.
This is why he considers the election a positive piece of news for the Czech Republic.
However, another question is that Macron will start implementing his programme if he succeeds in a general election, Marek said.
“This includes a quite fundamental reform of the euro zone that should become a certain heart of Europe,” Marek said, adding that a stronger pressure will be exerted on the countries that are not part of the euro zone to enter it, otherwise their influence in the EU might considerably decrease.
Chrasek expressed a similar view.
The EU alone can breathe a sigh of relief since the major danger was averted, he said.
“A battle has been won, but we cannot say that the war of European populists against European integration is over,” he told CTK.
The result of the French presidential election means a great challenge for the Czech Republic to “take the bull of European integration by the horns” and answer the question how it wants to go on – whether it wants to be a member of the hardcore, enter the euro zone and participate in the joint asylum policy or to become a second-category member, Chrasek said.
“Since Emmanuel Macron will be pushing through exactly this – another deep integration of the EU’s hardcore with France, Germany but also, for instance, with Slovakia that has adopted the euro. The rest that reject the euro zone, including the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, will stay on the margin,” he said.
As a consequence, Prague might get less money from EU funds as well, he added.
Pavel Fischer, former Czech ambassador to France, told public broadcaster Czech Television (CT) that the Czech Republic often spoke up as a member of the Visegrad Four Group (V4), including also Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, even when it came to the issues that harmed Prague.
In relation to Macron, the Czech Republic must say self-confidently on which issues it is at odds with the remaining three V4 countries, he said.
Macron has stood up against Budapest and Warsaw sharply.
“We must make up our mind whether European integration is more important to us and whether we are there on behalf of ourselves and then take a step towards Macron who is seeking allies for his project,” Fischer said.