9. 7. 2019 8:17

The EU Council's 2019 Country Specific Recommendations for the Czech Republic have been approved

The EU Council has approved on the 8 July and 9 July the final version of the Country Specific Recommendations for the Czech Republic for the next 12 months: 1) long-term sustainability of pensions system and healthcare, 2) supporting the employment of women and marginalized demographic groups, 3) boosting investments.

The European Commission published its proposed recommendations for each Member State for the next 12 months, the so called Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) on 5 June 2019 after assessing the 2019 National Reform Program of the Czech Republic.

The CSRs are important part of the European Semester process - an annual cycle of social and economic policy coordination of all EU Member States.

The CSRs proposal was first discussed in various formats of the EU Council. The Czech Republic generally agreed with the initial draft proposal, but nonetheless the government made a few comments and suggested several modifications of which the most important were accepted. The final version of the document was approved by the two configurations of the EU Council – by EPSCO on 8 July and by ECOFIN on 9 July. 

Although the recommendations are not legally binding, they serve as a guideline to devise social and economic reforms at national level. This year the European Semester process is distinctively focused on investment policy due to the overall preparation of the next EU funding period. That is why the special chapter Annex D of 2019 Country Report Czech Republic identifies key policy areas which in the Commission's opinion necessitate investment the most. This chapter lays the groundwork for the upcoming negotiations on the new Partnership Agreement for the programming period 2021– 2027. That is why this year a third recommendation has been added in respect to these investment priorities.     

First recommendation:

Improve long-term fiscal sustainability of the pension and health-care systems. Adopt pending anti-corruption measures.

Second recommendation:

Foster the employment of women with young children, including by improving access to affordable childcare, and of disadvantaged groups. Increase the quality and inclusiveness of the education and training systems, including by fostering technical and digital skills and promoting the teaching profession.

Third recommendation:

Focus investment-related economic policy on transport, notably on its sustainability, digital infrastructure, and low carbon and energy transition, including energy efficiency, taking into account regional disparities. Reduce the administrative burden on investment and support more quality-based competition in public procurement. Remove the barriers hampering the development of a fully functioning innovation ecosystem.

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