"Situation is a bit chaotic in the Czech Republic," Petr Zeman, the head of the ČEPS, Czech TSO, says giving his comments on current support schemes for renewables. His company complains that the current legislation is unable to regulate renewables and to distinguish real projects from speculative ones.
Czech Republic received 6.4 billion CZK to fund innovation and research through the Operational Programme Research and development for innovation. Nearly one third of the money will support four selected projects.
Czech researchers will gather today to protest against cutting the support for Czech Academy of Science. But the decision was already taken by the previous government of Mirek Topolánek.
Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski offered Greek government a joint meeting where possible solutions of the name dispute could be discussed. Skopje hinted that both parties could meet in Brussels.
Nikola Gruevski, Macedonia´s prime minister met Czech PM Jan Fischer in Prague. He told his Czech counterpart that his country would like to enter the EU during the Czech EU Commissioner´s mandate.
MEPs want to more money to pay for their assistants. They claim that the workload has risen after adoption of Lisbon Treaty. But the proposal was immediately heavily criticized.
In the series of pre-election interviews, EurActiv asked EU experts of the main political parties on what are their positions on the big European issues such as economic crisis, climate change or EU budget after 2013.
European Commission proposed a proposal for EU budget with total liabilities at 139 billion euros, or almost 1.2% GDP. In comparison to previous year, direct expenses should be higher by 6 billion euros in order to help EU economy. But the proposal on the reform has been postponed.
Authors of the report commissioned by the EU executive said that if agricultural sector is to provide "green" public goods and services, common budget has to be changed.
Member states that are net recipients of EU money are asked to contribute more in the new common EU budget after 2013.
Countries should choose an enhanced Schengen-like form of cooperation in some areas of common energy policy, experts said at the conference organized by European Values Network in Prague. They discussed also EU dependency on unreliable energy suppliers.
European citizens discussed about the future of the Europe during the „European Citizens´ Consultation“. Among their greatest threats are the poverty that would be an impact of economic crisis, unemployment and unfavorable demographic trends.
Czech government criticise the Lisbon Strategy in its position document on future EU 2020 strategy obtained by EurActiv. New strategy should be different mainly from the procedural point of view. Above all, it must take into account demographic, macroeconomic and structural changes and focus on employment and growth.
Czech government criticize the Lisbon Strategy in its position document on future EU 2020 strategy obtained by EurActiv. New strategy should be different mainly from the procedural point of view. Above all, it must take into account demographic, macroeconomic and structural changes and focus on employment and growth.
Impacts of euro adoption in Slovakia cannot be assessed sooner than after six to ten years, expert agreed at the seminar Euro and Slovakia: One year after. On the Czech Eurozone ambitions differences are much wider, but majority call for becoming a part of the club.
Swedish Presidency wants to restrict activities of both European and foreign private funds. The proposal is to complemented by the new rules on regulation of funds currently considered by the Commission. But the industry sees the initiative of the European executive as unacceptable and says that the new rules will lower their returns and consequently also retirement pensions.
European Commission warned countries that massive growth of public deficits and ageing populations may seriously shake their treasuries. European executive says that the time to adopt significant cuts in public budgets has come. Commission also estimates, that without any changes in its pension system Czech Republic´s budget may be short of 6% GDP in the future.
European Commission recommended Estonia to enter Eurozone as of 1 January 2011. Despite the majority of all other European countries, small Baltic state succeed in keeping the budget on the leash. Commission gave the assessment also for the Czech Republic but it found very few reasons to be positive.
Central bankers from Slovakia and Austria think that small pro-export economies should adopt euro but on the other hand that the common currency cannot solve everything. But key is the political courage of individual governments, and their willingness to adopt unpopular reforms.
Minister of finance Eduard Janota said that Czech Republic cannot adopt euro sooner than between 2016 and 2017 and only in case it follows recommendations set in the update of its covergence programme. The government will discuss the document on 8 February as it said the paper must but put in line with the latest predictions and additional budgetary cuts.
Nicholas Martyn, director general of regional department at the European Commission recommended Czech Republic to apply for more infrastructure projects to speed up drawing of EU money. But the ministry for transport said it is the Commission who should speed up as it is responsible for late payments for transport projects.
European Parliament asked European Commission to prepare special European Strategy for Danube region. Strategy, where Czech Republic is also expected to take part would bring better coordination and coordination in spatial planning including development of transport interconnections.
Czech government appproved a strategic document Territorial Development Policy 2008 outlining where the important strategic projects could be built. But green groups protests claim the document gives a green light to controversial highways such as a disputed connection between South Moravia and Wien expected to be funded partly from TEN-T budget.
European Commission approved funding for 18 transport project from European economic recovery plan. It is expected the budget for TEN-T projects would raise by 500 million euros. Funding for the highway connection between Bohumín and cities in Poland will be a part of the package.
Czech Republic will get more money from EU´s regional policy in the next three years. An extra money of 237 million euro is a kind of reward for better economic growth between 2007 and 2009 than previously expected. Also Slovakia and Poland were among lucky ones.
European Commission issued the report on regional spending. By last year, countries were able to distribute 27% of all the money available for 2007-2013, report reads. According to the document, Czech Republic scored under the average. But experts warn that Commission is working with the old numbers and situation has a lot better than it suggests.
Approving and reimbursing EU money should further simplify as Czech government approved the package whose aim is to eliminate additional administrative burden that results from the Czech legislation on top of the EU rules. Proposal is submitted by ministries for regional development and finance.
Agriculture ministers said they are prepared to discuss future of direct payments scheme. The biggest issue of their discussion held under Czech Presidency was EU´s common agricultural policy and disbalances between old and new member countries. They came to no conclusion but pledged they would discuss the issue at their next meeting.
Food producers afraid that MEPs could agree on disclosure of too many information on the food packages. They can be asked to nutrition values both as per 100 grammes and per portion. At the same time, Czech survey showed that majority of consumers does not care about what is written at the package.
Roma community and human right groups cautiously welcomed a new plan launched by the European Commission this week. It aims to improve social and economic integration of Roma community into the society.
Czech government approved new conditions for extraordinary support for milk producers that has been proposed by Jakub Šebesta, minister for agriculture. Czech producers will receive almost 6 million euros (or 150 million CZK).
Czech government decided to give children at elementary schools fruits and vegetables for free. It believes this could change eating habits among pupils and reduce childhood obesity. Biggest part of the programme is to be paid by Brussels.
In "the third industry revolution" the creativity will play a key role, experts, European institutions representatives and politicians agreed on the Forum for Creative Europe which took place in Prague last week.
The European Court of Justice decided that broadcasting of porn movies in cabins could not profit from lower taxes as regular cinemas do.
The Federated States of Micronesia suggested that the Czech ministry of Environment should consider the impact of Prunerov power plant on climate change.
According to Jiří Jeřábek from the Centre for Transportation and energy, we must focus on savings and renewables, not CCS, when fighting climate change.
According to Green MP Martin Bursík, China "killed" the Copenhagen negotiations. Especially NGOs who tend to criticize only developed nations should bear this in mind, he said.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) presented 3 "Knowledge and Innovation Communities". The first deals with climate, the second with energy and the third with ICT.
Czech main political parties consider the problem of climate change very seriously, their representatives say. EurActiv surveyed what they expect from Copenhagen conference.
The European Broadcasting Union, including Czech state TV and radio, proposed the simplification of IPR legislation in order to make publishing on the Internet easier.
According to experts, EU companies could wait as long as another 10 years to get EU patent legislation approved by the member states. Very expensive translations remain the main obstacle.
The Minister for European Affairs Štefan Füle criticized that ODS senators were blocking Lisbon Treaty ratification by sending another complain to the Czech Constitutional Court.
The leaders of two main Czech political parties Jiří Paroubek and Mirek Topolánek agreed that if we did not ratify the Lisbon Treaty soon, we could lose a Czech commissioner.
The European Commission launched an online public consultation aimed at unlocking the full potential of Europe´s cultural and creative industries.
Unless they get a fair share in new diplomatic corps, they could disengage from EU foreign policy, the Visegrad countries have warned. The EUobserver.com informed about it on Wednesday (March 10th).
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay on 4 March presented her annual report to the Human Rights Council. She said that discrimination rate against Roma in the CR is getting worse. Czech human rights minister disagrees
Forthcoming elections could strengthen the extremes in Central Europe, polls show. The exception is Czech Republic, which has recently outlawed the far-right party.
Barack Obama enters the second year of his presidency. The first one was strongly afflicted by the financial crisis which made president focus on domestic affairs and non-European actors. Whether has Obama met the expectations of milions of people, was a subject of the expert discussion in Prague´s American center.
Since the Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004, its regions have started to benefit from generous cash handouts from the EU's regional policy budget. Common projects with the country's neighbours mostly cover tourism, infrastructure, environment and cultural contact.
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published a report evaluating minorities´ situation in member states. Report is based on interviews with nearly 23 thousand of immigrants and members of minorities. Document says that the most discriminated minority in the EU are Roma in the CR.
EU businesses complained that at the time of drop of demand caused by the economic crisis firms often suffer from late payments by public institutions. Governments do not need to create any specific stimulation packages, they should rather pay in due time, firms say. Czech Republic is not an exception in this regard.
Czech business groups and center-right deputies condemned a proposal that aimed at setting standards for regulation of lobbyists prepared by Social Democrats (ČSSD). Among others, they criticised a part of the proposal that would require politicians to inform of every contact with potential lobbyist.
Mirek Topolánek, a leader of right-center civic democrats (ODS) supported requirements of entrepreneurs who called for more effective public administration. Czech businesses call also for a new export strategy aimed at small and medium sized entreprises.
According to Czech Statistical Office there is twice as much male entrepreneurs as female entrepreneurs. But in fact, the difference is much bigger. What are the reasons for such imbalances? EurActiv asked Helena Cetlová and Lenka Šťastná, members of two associations of female entrepreneurs.
EU ministers for health will discuss mutual cooperation as regards innoculation against AH1N1, including vaccine sharing. However, the issue will most probably show reluctance among those EU countries who ordered markedly higher volume of vaccines than others.
EU Health Security Committee issued a statement identifying groups of people that should be prioritised in vaccination against H1N1 virus. However, statements of the body are non-binding.
Experts concluded that virus H1N1 virus will continue spreading out, probably even faster than in the past. According to the European Center for Diseases Prevention and Control, another 491 people were found infected by the virus within last 24 hours.
European Commission published a proposal calling on national governments to adopt legislation that would protect EU citizens from exposure to cigarette smoke. Tobacco still ranks among the major cause of diseases in the EU.
EU Platform for Roma Inclusion whose aim is to support Roma inclusion into the majority population in the EU countries met 28 September for the second time. Experts on Roma issues criticised mostly policies focused on Roma population as well as separation of support programmes for these people from other social programmes.
Unemployment raised to 8.5 percent in August in the Czech Republic, the most in the last three and half year, but slowed down in comparison to previous months. Updated numbers by the Czech Statistics Office showed the yearly shrink of the economy by 5.5 percent. Business representatives did not attempt to hide their disappointment.
Turkey and Armenia expressed their will to restore mutual diplomatic relations and open the border that has been closed since 1993. Swedish Presidency and Javier Solana welcomed the deal.
Czech and Slovak energy markets were interconnected as of 31 August 2009 easing life for energy traders. Apart from that, all the TSOs in Central Europe are, from the beginning of August, able to access actual information on energy production at wind farms in Germany. The measure is aimed at enhancing security of electricity transmission in the region.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called on Greece and Turkey to improve their relations, saying ongoing tensions between the two countries are endangering NATO and EU missions in Afghanistan and Somalia by putting ground troops at risk.
German statistics office confirmed preliminary numbers issued in mid August. Data showed that after months of falling the economy grew in second quarter of 2009. However, experts warn that while the news is positive, growth in the range of 0,3 percent cannot be seen as substantial and its viability will become clear only after effect of stimulus measures has fade away.
Second biggest solar powerplant was inaugurated in former military training ground in Brandenburg. Money the state will get from the power company during the next 20 years in a form of rent should help reconstructing he area that is set to become a natural preserved area once the leasing contract has finished.
Since the world economic climate indicator marked the growth in the second quarter, most of the experts assume that upcoming months could bring recovery in the world economy. However, some experts warn that after the influence of stimulus packages has waned another fall may come.
At least twenty people died and 138 were wounded in yesterday's suicide bombing in Nazran, Ingushetiya. Suicide attacks are destabilising region that is getting on the brink of civil war. Terrorist attac was immediately condemned by both EU and the US.
Industrial production fell in June, on a monthly basis, by 0.6 percent in eurozone and 0.2 percent in the whole EU. Estimates from Eurostat disappointed most of the experts as May data indicated moderate recovery. Economic experts expect modest growth in industrial production in upcoming months but at the same time warn that another slump could come by the end of the year.
Ukrainian energy giant Naftogaz paid Russian Gazprom for July gas supplies disproving the recent speculations that it might face a lack of money. Yet, the company is still deep in debts and Ukrainian government announced the plan to „restructure“ its debts prompting fears among foreign investors.
Germany's scrapping car scheme aimed at helping the Germany car industry hit by the financial and economic crisis has been allegedly misused by criminals who resell cars that should have been officially scrapped under the scheme to buyers in Eastern Europe. Up to 50,000 cars could end up abroad, police officials say.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov praised the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia as the „most serious stabilising factor“ responsible for keeping peace in a problematic region.
Tensions are on a rise between Russia and Georgia almost year after the conflict. During weekend, Georgian authorities accused Moscow from attempts to penetrate Georgian territory. Moscow, on the other hand, accused Tbilisi of firing mortars at the breakaway region of South Ossetia.
Czech energy giant ČEZ announced a tender for building up two blocks of Temelín nuclear powerplant. Yet, whether the plans of ČEZ will be accomplished remains unclear. The company must wait for the result of environment impact assessment and blessing from the government. The plan was immediately condemned by green groups.
European statistics office released the most recent data last week on unemployment in both eurozone and the whole EU. Numbers showed that unemployment in eurozone is 0.5 percentage points higher than in the the EU-27. Unemployment of younger people (15-24) marked the biggest growth on a yearly basis – from 3.7 percent to 18.3 in 2009.
European Commission announced the deal that will help Ukraine pay for supplies of natural gas. The deal is seen as a safeguard against possible interuptions of future gas supplies in the EU. The question is whether $1.7 billions is enough to fill up the country's storage facilities.
Russian president recently came up with a new „Medvedev´s initiative“ which represents an attempt of the country to create a new security infrastructure in Europe and to replace the current set-up based upon the UN, NATO, EU, OSCE and Council of Europe. However, most of the EU countries remain sceptical towards the proposal, expert from Association for International Affairs said.
EU foreign ministers backed the Czech Republic yesterday in her attempt to remove visa duty for Czechs travelling to Canada. Czech government, however, does not contemplate on adopting strict measures such as introducing Schengen visa for Canada as it does not wish to cause any crisis to mutual relations.
European Commission yesterday agreed to assign 70 million euros in 2009 to Neighbourhood Investment Facility. Using this money, partner countries should be able to attract additional funding for investment projects.
Launching the Eastern Partnership project was among the top priorities of recent Czech Presidency. Government committee for the EU yesterday confirmed that the Czech Republic should be active in this field also in the future.
Despite all the assurances from Czech foreign minister Jan Kohout that Canada will not impose the visa on the Czech nationals, the country was hit by surprise today. Visa-free regime was terminated for Czechs as a step to end „misusing“ liberal Canadian asylum system by Czech, mostly Roma, people.