The European Court of Justice has condemned the Czech Republic for
restricting access to the notary profession to just Czechs.
In a ruling Thursday, the court said such nationality limits were discriminatory and broke basic EU rules on free movement and citizens’ rights. The profession could only be limited to citizens if issues of security were at stake and this was clearly not the case.
The European Commission launched court proceedings against the county in 2016 after foot dragging by Prague to bring its rules into line with other member states.
The Czech Republic should transport the EUs free movement of workers
directive into its legislation within a matter of weeks, the minister for
legislation and human rights Jan Chvojka said in response to the ECs
announcement it would take the Czech Republic to court over its failure to
do so. Chvojka said the legislation still needed to win approval in the
Senate and would be signed into law by the president, a process expected to
take just a few weeks.
The Czech Republic could face sanctions over its failure to transport the directive into its national legislation. The regulation was to enter into force at the latest by May 2016. The commission has proposed that the Czech Republic pay 33,510 euros per day until it adopts the directive into law.
The lower house of Parliament has approved an amendment to the law which
would give the Czech Ombudsman’s Office the power to check whether
foreign nationals from other EU states do not face discrimination at the
The amendment transposes an EU directive into the country’s anti-discrimination law. It will guarantee foreign nationals from EU member states equal opportunities on the labour market, including social and tax advantages.
The bill still needs to win approval in the Senate and be signed by the president.
The Czech Republic is the only new EU member state to receive more foreign
workers than it posts abroad, suggests an analysis on labour mobility
published on the government’s website on Tuesday. The report indicates
that in 2014, Czech companies sent 10,400 workers to other states, while
the Czech Republic received 17,200 foreign workers.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, along with his Slovak and Austrian counterparts, is set to discuss the EU directive on posting of workers with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting in Salzburg next week.
In the first quarter of 2017, the Czech consulate in Lvov, Ukraine received almost 4,000 applications from Ukrainians looking to work in the Czech Republic, a number three times higher than the entire number of applications one year earlier. Domestic firms have made no secret of their interest in hiring Ukrainian labour, an initiative backed by the government and also the president. But organization has been a different matter: processing applications has been altogether too slow.
The Czech consulate in the Ukrainian city of Lvov is snowed under with requests for work visas to the Czech Republic, Czech Television reported. In the first three months of this year the consulate received close to three thousand visa applications, which is more than in the entire preceding year. Despite a pressing need for more Ukrainian workers in the Czech Republic, only a third of the applications were processed. The Czech Foreign Ministry has now increased the monthly quota for workers from Ukraine promising that as of May the consulate should issue around 800 work visas a month.
A police raid on the country’s second biggest online grocer, which resulted in the detention of 85 foreign nationals on suspicion of working illegally in the country, has thrown light on a much bigger problem. The record low unemployment rate and the restrictions on the number of Ukrainian workers allowed to enter the labour market has led some firms to employ Ukrainians with work permits for Poland. According to a member of the Association of Employment Agencies the case detected last week is merely the tip of the iceberg and in reality there are