Andrej Babiš is not Central Europe’s Game-Changer

Vít Dostál, Association for International Affairs (AMO), and Milan Nič, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), co-authored a new briefing paper analyzing the Czech election result.

“The Czech election result seems worrying at first: Yet another populist leader has been catapulted into power in Central Europe. But billionaire Andrej Babiš and his populist ANO party, which received almost 30 percent of the vote, is not necessarily going to push the Czech Republic into an illiberal and anti-EU direction.”

The authors compare Babiš with other Central European leaders and examine possible scenarios, Czech foreign and EU policy under an ANO-led government, and the future of Czech-German relations.

“Parallels between Andrej Babiš and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán or Polish leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski are overdone. Unlike Orbán and Kaczynski, 63-years-old Babiš is not an ideologue, but a pragmatic businessman. Babiš’s political position is far less dominant than that of his Hungarian and Polish counterparts. Unlike them, he is not a nationalist. Furthermore, he will need to form a coalition government with one or two junior partners.”

For more information contact AMO Research Director Vít Dostál (+420 603 104 687). 

The text was published with the kind support of the Czech-German Future Fund.