Thursday

23rd Feb 2017

Czech government backs EU fiscal pact

  • Prague: The Czech government of Bohuslav Sobotka seems intent on thawing relations with Brussels (Photo: Moyan_Brenn)

The Czech government has agreed to adopt the EU's fiscal pact, as the new centre-left administration of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka continues to tread a more pro-EU path than his predecessors.

The decision, taken following a cabinet meeting in Prague on Monday (24 March), will now need approval by the Czech parliament. The move will leave the UK as the only EU country not to have signed up to the treaty.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The pact, which was driven forward by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former French president Nikolas Sarkozy, and backed by EU leaders in December 2011, commits countries to putting the bloc's limits on budget deficit and debt levels of 3 percent and 60 percent of GDP, respectively, into national constitutions.

It also requires countries to keep their budgets in balance or surplus with a structural deficit no higher than 0.5 percent of economic output.

The pact's supporters believe that it is necessary to demonstrate the bloc's commitment to debt reduction, while critics say that it will severely restrict the flexibility of governments to put in place economic stimulus measures during times of recession.

"With this decision, we return to the mainstream of European integration. It is an important step which naturally is on the path to the future adoption of the common European currency," Sobotka told reporters.

"It will serve as a preparation for the eventual adoption of the euro," he added.

The Czech Republic has no official timeline for joining the single currency, but Sobotka has suggested 2020 as a possible date.

Sobotka's government is intent on building warmer relations between Brussels and Prague following years of tension between the EU institutions and Vaclav Klaus, the country's former president and a veteran eurosceptic.

The new Social Democrat-led government was sworn into office at the end of January, bringing an end to a seven month power vacuum in the country caused by the collapse of the centre-right government last June.

Czechs abandon EU fiscal pact, for now

The new EU treaty on fiscal discipline will be signed by 25 instead of 26 member states after the Czech Republic joined the UK in staying out.

Czech government to give up EU Charter opt-out

The Czech Republic is to abandon its opposition to the EU's charter of rights and the fiscal compact treaty in a sign that there could be warmer relations between Prague's new government and Brussels.

Czech 'Mr Clean' embroiled in scandal

Czech transport minister Dan Tok, once dubbed “Mr Clean” for his role in a transparency campaign, is now embroiled in a cross-border bribery scandal.

Opinion

Don't blame Trump for Europe's insecurity

Europe's security architecture was already showing cracks well before Trump's arrival and requires urgent repair work whether he had won or not.

News in Brief

  1. WTO says Russian pork ban was illegal
  2. Belgian nuclear plant made 'significant progress' on safety
  3. Report: Commission gauging EU support for Poland sanctions
  4. Irish PM expected to quit amid police scandal
  5. After Brexit vote, 100,000 UK firms registered in Ireland
  6. Bayrou to support Macron in French presidential election
  7. British by-election tests Ukip strength after Brexit
  8. Romanian parliament buries controversial corruption decree

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  2. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  3. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  4. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  5. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  6. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  7. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  8. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  10. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  11. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  12. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year