Topic Archive European Union

Will Czech Republic end restrictions on foreigners’ political rights?

17-04-2014 16:16 | Jan Richter

Photo: European Commission The Czech Republic is facing proceedings at the EU’s Court of Justice over restricting the political rights of EU nationals residing in the country. They can run in local and European elections but are not allowed to join Czech political parties or form their own. This goes against EU law, and although lawmakers had years to adapt Czech legislation, efforts to end the discrimination have only recently got underway.  More

German MEP says Finance Minister Babiš faces conflict of interest

27-03-2014 16:11 | Jan Richter

Photo: Filip Jandourek Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš faces a serious conflict of interest which could put strain on the Czech Republic’s cooperation with the EU, according to German MEP Ingeborg Grässle. The Christian Democrat European deputy, who is in Prague to review the Czech Republic’s use of EU funds, has also called on Czech lawmakers to investigate rampant abuse of EU money.  More

Prague based CEE Bankwatch Network seeks to make EU banking institutions, funds, account for their actions

25-03-2014 15:38 | Chris Johnstone

Tens of billions of euros flow through the European Union’s institutional banks, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to projects dotted all over the globe. In many cases, these banking giants are shadowy institutions with little national or public supervision of their decisions and a pretty wide remit for their action. We speak to one of the heads of a Prague-based organization dedicated to making the banks take greater account of what they are pay rolling and what the consequences will be.  More

Czech prime minister to take cautious stand on climate, energy, goals as EU countries clash

20-03-2014 13:02 | Chris Johnstone

Photo: Barbora Kmentová Overshadowed by the events in Ukraine, European heads of government are nonetheless meeting in Brussels with a view to hammering out an energy and climate change policy until 2030. A head on collision between countries backing an ambitious deal on several fronts and those, like the Czech Republic, calling for a more cautious and simplified approach looks like making any deal impossible.  More

Jiří Přibáň: Europe needs more conflict

15-03-2014 02:01 | David Vaughan

Jiří Přibáň, photo: Czech Television At the end of last month, Prague hosted an international conference to discuss some of the issues determining the direction of today’s Europe. The event was organized by the Václav Havel Library, which aims to keep both the political and the literary legacy of the late Czech president alive. Havel saw the European Union as a force for peace and stability, but he was often critical of the EU’s priorities. So it was apt that the conference heard a huge range of views on Europe’s future, from federalist to deeply sceptical. David Vaughan spoke to one of the Czech Republic leading academics about some of the issues that were discussed.  More

Economic crisis, negative media reports and self-protecting attitudes undermining public trust in EU institutions

13-03-2014 15:55 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: European Commission An opinion poll conducted by the STEM agency in February of this year shows that trust in EU institutions has dropped to an all-time low, sliding from 60 percent in 2009 to a mere 34 percent this year. The dramatic slump in support comes at a time when the new center-left government has announced a change of course –vowing to bring the Czech Republic back to the EU mainstream. I spoke to the head of the STEM agency Jan Hartl about what’s behind the loss of trust and what are the present pro-EU government’s chances of turning around Czechs’ increasingly skeptical outlook.  More

Euro adoption back on the agenda for the Czech Republic

11-03-2014 14:53 | Chris Johnstone

Photo: Štěpánka Budková For most of the Czech Republic’s 10-year membership of the European Union, the single currency euro has been regarded with at best reserve and at worst the sort of suspicion you would set aside for your biggest enemy. With a new president and the new centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka, the attitude has switched again and now might be characterized as cautiously positive. But the debate is still continuing with the example of neighbour and euro-zone country Slovakia often taking central stage.  More

Czechs’ trust in EU institutions slumps to all-time low

11-03-2014 13:52 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: Barbora Kmentová An opinion poll conducted by the STEM agency in February of this year shows that trust in EU institutions has dropped to an all-time low. The gradual slide from the initial 60 percent support rating to the present 34 percent is being attributed to a number of factors – including euro-sceptic governments, the euro debt crisis and negative reports in the media.  More

Political analyst: Europe would feel the backlash from stiffer sanctions against Russia

07-03-2014 16:16 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: European Commission At an emergency summit in Brussels on Thursday EU leaders suspended talks on visa-free travel with Russia and threatened far-reaching action should Moscow take further steps to destabilize Ukraine. The decision followed tough negotiations among member states, divided over how to react to the Russian aggression, and revealed the measure to which Europe’s hands are tied by its dependence on Russian crude oil and gas. Jakub Janda from the Prague-based European Values think tank says the decision was predictable since Europe itself would feel the backlash from stiffer sanctions.  More

President Zeman addresses European Parliament

26-02-2014 15:20 | Jan Velinger

Miloš Zeman, photo: CTK Czech President Miloš Zeman addressed the European Parliament on Wednesday morning in a speech anticipated to be far more pro-EU than that of his predecessor Václav Klaus. In that respect he delivered. At the same time, he was also critical, pulling no punches when it came to criticizing EU red tape, nonsensical directives, and failures to agree on common policy.  More

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