Czech election postponement may speed up EU commissioner choice

The postponement of the early general elections in the Czech Republic may motivate politicians to choose a new EU commissioner more quickly, Czech Minister for EU Affairs Stefan Fuele said.

So far political parties have planned to select a new Czech representatives in the European Commission after the elections, but now they understand that they must deal with it as soon as possible, Fuele added.

The Constitutional Court on September 1 suspended the execution of President Vaclav Klaus’s decision to call early elections on October 9-10 and then it abolished a one-use constitutional law shortening the lower house’s term, in compliance with a complaint by unaffiliated deputy Milos Melcak.

To solve the situation, the parliament passed a constitutional amendment on the dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies and an amendment to the election law that shortens certain election deadlines and Klaus signed them into law last week.

“After the Constitutional Court’s decision and mainly after what happened in the Parliament of the Czech Republic where the election date is being postponed, completely new conditions were created for the talks on the selection of our EU commissioner,” Fuele said before a meeting of the EU countries’ foreign ministers.

They will debate the preparation of the October EU summit that is to deal with institutional issues and the possible division of key positions in the EU.

Fuele noted that the delayed decision on a new commissioner might narrow space for negotiations on some acceptable fields of responsibility for a Czech representative in the EC.

Fuele said he is convinced that the Czech Republic could still obtain a significant post in the EC if it managed to select a new EU commissioner as soon as possible and outlined how the ratification of the EU reform Lisbon treaty would be completed.

Both houses of parliament have passed the treaty and President Vaclav Klaus, a sharp opponent of the document, is yet to sign it to complete the ratification process.

The Czech Republic is now represented in the EC by former prime minister Vladimir Spidla who occupies the post of Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.


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