Although it seems hard to believe, the European Union welcomes the first country whose government has pirated members. This is the Czech Republic, where the first Pirate Party in Europe was formed. He joined a ruling coalition, taking over two key portfolios in the new cabinet led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala.
A Pirate party was formed in the Czech Republic
Despite a poorer result than expected in the October parliamentary elections, the Pirates won the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Regional Development following negotiations to form a new government.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s new center-right government has taken office as it faces rising inflation and energy costs, record budget deficits and the problems of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 57-year-old former university professor leads a five-party coalition, from his conservative Social Democrat conservatives to the Pirates’ Liberal Party, which is entering government for the first time.
The coalition, which analysts expect to be pro-Western and more involved with the European Union than its predecessor, faces a period of rising household costs and a new wave of COVID infections straining hospitals.
Leading politicians are also “inheriting” an agenda that includes a potential tender for new billion-euro nuclear power plants.
The new government has secured 108 seats in the lower 200-member chamber in the October 2021 elections, giving it a strong majority.
However, he faces opposition from incumbent Prime Minister Andrej Babis’ ANO party, which is the largest single group in the lower house, and the far-right SPD.
What does the Czech Pirate Party mean?
The electoral platform of the Czech Pirates is focused on digitalization, transparency and digital freedoms, which is why it has attracted mostly young liberal voters. They recently expressed support for the European Green Pact and more ambitious climate change targets.
Jan Lipavský, the new Foreign Minister of the Pirate Party, also signaled a reorientation of Czech diplomacy to the West, a distance from the previous government of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš who emphasized the membership of the Visegrád Group, partly due to relations close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Ivan Bartoš, President of the Pirate Party, has been appointed Minister of Regional Development in the new government. Prime Minister Petr Fiala avoided a possible conflict last week with President Milos Zeman, who opposed the appointment of 36-year-old Jan Lipavsky as foreign minister.