Czech Republic

EU Related Referendums

The referendum on the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union took place on 13 and 14 June 2003. The Constitution did not demand that a referendum be held on EU accession, but major political parties agreed that it was necessary. Thus, during 2002 the Parliament adopted a special constitutional act which addressed the formal aspects of the referendum.

The attitudes of individual parliamentary parties to EU accession had been stable for a long time and there were no changes before the referendum. The ruling parties (ČSSD, KDU-ČSL and US-DEU) openly supported EU accession and further European integration. The opposition parties (KSČM and ODS) were more skeptical about EU accession. In the end ODS recommended that voters to vote for the accession, through a somewhat reserved election campaign (slogan: 'Yes but...'). In doing this, ODS to some extent veered away from its anti-European attitude formulated by the former party chairman, Václav Klaus. The KSČM recommended that its members vote against accession because, they claimed, the accession agreement had been badly negotiated. However, on the election days the electorate followed the advices of the governing parties. 77.33 percent voted 'Yes', and approved of the accession.

Referendum on the Accession to the European Union, 2003. NUTS 3

Sources:

Linek, L. and Mansfeldova, Z. 2004. Czech Republic. European Journal of Political Research, Volume 43(7-8): 980-988.

Referendum result: http://www.volby.cz/