Christian Kvorning Lassen from Europeum together with Jan Kovář from Institute of International Relations Prague wrote a commentary "Czech Republic: political elites and citizens view EU cooperation with scepticism" for the EPIN Report publication, concerned with EU Member States' crisis reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis has shown how difficult European cooperation can be, especially in policy areas where the EU has only a legal competence to support member states. At first, all member states were inward-looking in their reactions, unilaterally closing borders and focusing on crisis management at home. European solidarity has largely been absent. Ultimately, however, the lockdown realities across Europe are quite similar. Drawing on the expertise of researchers in our EPIN network, we asked how EU cooperation was perceived in their respective national contexts. Nineteen institutes from 15 different countries from a representative cross-section of member states (plus Iceland) responded to our call.
Czechia is a chronic outlier when it comes to its public’s rather negative opinion towards the EU. And even now, the EU is at best viewed with scepticism as a cooperating partner in fighting COVID-19.
That Czechia still has one of the most Eurosceptic member state populations is in large part due to its leading political figures, who attempt to capitalise on the crisis by denouncing the EU, as usual.
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Expertise: Migration/European migration crisis, EU foreign policy, Scandinavian politics, populism, EU enlargement policy