Tuesday

2nd Jun 2020

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

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.

News in Brief

  1. Trump threatens to use army to crush unrest in US
  2. Trump wants Russia back in G7-type group
  3. Iran: Fears of second wave as corona numbers rise again
  4. WHO: Overuse of antibiotics to strengthen bacterial resistance
  5. Orban calls EU Commission recovery plan 'absurd'
  6. ABBA's Björn new president of authors' rights federation
  7. Malta and Libya to create anti-migrant 'units'
  8. France reopening bars and parks next week

Feature

Beethoven vs Virus: How his birthplace Bonn is coping

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Bonn cancelled Beethoven: the much-anticipated 'Beethovenfest', as well as numerous concerts, exhibits and theatre performances were called off, some of the events were rescheduled for 2021.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  3. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  5. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers call for post-corona synergies between economic recovery and green transition

Latest News

  1. Malta fiddles on migrants, as Libya burns
  2. Borrell: EU doesn't need to choose between US and China
  3. Post-Brexit and summer travel talks This WEEK
  4. State-level espionage on EU tagged as 'Very High Threat'
  5. Beethoven vs Virus: How his birthplace Bonn is coping
  6. EU's new migration pact must protect people on the move
  7. Spain takes 'giant step' on guaranteed minimum income
  8. Vestager hits back at Lufthansa bailout criticism

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us