Big news from the Czech Republic where Andrej Babis is set to lose the parliamentary election. The coalition Spolu and the Czech Pirates/Stan likely to form the next coalition government, ending the last 7 years in which Babis was in government. ImageImage
It’s not just about Babis narrowly escaping the first place, but also that the Czech social democrats (CSSD) and the communists will not pass the 5 percent threshold, meaning that they won’t be able to enter Parliament and be Babis’ potential coalition partners.
It’s also the first time in over 30 years - since the 1989 Velvet Revolution - that the communist party will not be in the Czech Parliament. Its share of vote was usually around 10+%, but this time the party failed to meet the necessary threshold.
The man to succeed Babis and be the next Czech PM is his polar opposite. Petr Fiala, head of the Civil Democratic Party who headed the coalition Spolu, is a 57-year professor of political science, former rector of Masaryk University and education minister between 2012-13.
Petr Fiala is a pro-European, fairly pragmatic politician, known for his decency and ability to compromise. At the time when the EU is fighting belligerent Hungary and Poland in CEE, this is particularly welcome news for Brussels and the EU.
This was talked about as the most important election since Czech Rep became independent in 1993. Most of anti-Babis parties fought on the common platform in an attempt to bring together the split vote. And it worked; it’s the reason why Babis escaped the top place so narrowly.

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More from @AntonSpisak

10 Oct
There’s a clear landing zone on the ECJ issue in the NI Protocol, which I tweeted about yesterday. The problem, as ever, is politics: the Commission conceding on this fundamental point would signal to the UK its readiness to fundamentally alter the Protocol. /1
This is the landing zone which I floated previously. Replace Art 12 of the Protocol on the role of EU institutions with the text from the EU-Swiss IFA, to which the EU had previously agreed in a context of applying EU law in a third country. /2
However, such changes would require a bigger discussion among the EU27. It’s hard to see how this can be done now when a) there’s a serious trust deficit in the relationship with UK and b) Poland openly threatens to undermine fundamental principles of EU law and the ECJ. /3
Read 6 tweets
9 Oct
Interesting thread by @Mij_Europe on the EU’s NI Protocol offer.

On the ECJ specifically, I worry that this will basically bomb the whole thing (even though it really shouldn’t). /1
True, the UK has asked for the impossible on governance. But — please stay with me — there’re easy concessions that the Commission can give to the UK, both on the ECJ and on NI involvement in the pre-legislative process (“decision-shaping”). /2
Why do I think those are “easy concessions”? Because not that long ago, the EU gave a more balanced governance offer to Switzerland, in the EU-Switzerland Institutional Framework Agreement negotiations. Exactly of the kind that the UK would want for NI. /3
Read 6 tweets
23 Sep
Excellent piece by @pmdfoster on an important issue which didn’t get enough attention when it was announced a few weeks ago.

I wholly agree that the Govt’s proposals to amend the special status of EU retained law risk creating significant uncertainty. /1…
What’s more, it risks a hugely complex domestic legal environment and undermining the Union. True, UK Govt may choose to amend EU-inherited rules as it wishes. But it has to be mindful of the consequences; in many areas the devolved administrations will make their own choices. /2
There’re also some notable constraints on what the UK Govt can, and cannot, do with the EU-derived jurisprudence under the Withdrawal Agreement (and, indeed, the current NI Protocol). It won’t be as straightforward for UK ministers to shake up the system as they may wish. /3
Read 4 tweets
16 Sep
Looking at the list of regulations for reform announced by Lord Frost, most have nothing to do with the EU. So many random ideas, it's as if you asked government departments to come up with any ideas, and as quickly as possible. Embarrassing.…
What exactly does the National Underground Asset Register have to do with EU regulations? Image
What about the Geospatial Commission? Image
Read 7 tweets
1 Sep
I missed this while on holiday but the minutes of the first meeting of the UK-EU TCA Partnership Council, which took place in June, have now been published.

A couple of noteworthy points:…
1. UK Govt appears to have realised inadequacies of the TCA on SPS matters - quelle surprise - and asked to "deepen cooperation" in aspects of SPS.
2. The UK called for a wide-ranging SPS equivalence agreement that would apply to both GB-EU trade and GB-NI trade. The Cion responded with its usual "no alignment, no agreement" line.
Read 13 tweets
28 Jul
I am getting confused with the flurry of post-Brexit consultations and reviews announced by UK Govt in recent weeks, so here is a list:

1) Reforming the framework for better regulation
Closes 1 Oct…
2) Reforming competition and consumer policy
Closes 1 Oct…
3) A new pro-competition regime for digital markets
Closes 1 Oct…
Read 9 tweets

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