Tuesday

25th Apr 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.

Investigation

Russische schwarze Kassen bedrohen EU Demokratie

Es kostete €11 Millionen Le Pen im Wahlkampf zu helfen aber es kostete die russiche Mafia lediglich €100.000, einen ehemaligen britischen Generalstaatsanwalt zu rekrutieren, um gegen die EU Sanktionen vorzugehen.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary's Orban will participate in EU parliament debate
  2. Malta floats cash-for-refugees plan
  3. Ivanka Trump to meet Merkel at Berlin women's conference
  4. Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in 20 years
  5. Nord Stream 2 to get €4.8bn from European energy firms
  6. Defeated Fillon retires from French politics
  7. Hollande: Vote Macron to avoid 'risk' for France
  8. Italy misses deadline on air quality warning

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  3. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  4. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  5. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  6. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  7. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  8. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  10. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  11. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  12. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children