10. 6. 2019 8:51

The European Commission published the new proposal of Country Specific Recommendations

The European Commission published on 5 June 2019 its proposal of recommendations for each member state for the next 12 months, the so called Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) for the next 12 months. It is the next phase of the European Semester, an annual cycle of social and economic policy coordination for each member state. The draft proposal itself is now subject to negotiations in the EU Council and the final decision is scheduled for July.

Although the recommendations are not legally binding, they serve as an orientational 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 the Country Report Czech Republic 2019 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 and to set individual EU funding operational programmes.     

This year the European Commission presented the Czech Republic with three recommendations. Unlike in the previous rounds of the European Semester, the third recommendation has been added in respect to the 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 enable more quality-based competition in public procurement. Remove the barriers hampering the development of a fully functioning innovation ecosystem.

The 2019 recommendations came as no great surprise. The recommendations are in line with the dialogue that the Czech government continuously maintains with the European Commission as part of the European Semester process. The recommendations generally coalesce with governmental priorities described in the National Reform Programme 2019 and other strategic documents of the government.

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