The Czech Competitiveness Council is a platform for debating competitiveness, economic policy and promoting solutions across all sectors, public and private.

Spotlight Issue

Competitiveness: IMD 2015 World Competitiveness Yearbook: Czech Republic moves up 4 places

27 May 2015

On May 27, 2015, IMD announced the findings of its annual World Competitiveness Yearbook. As part of its ranking of 61 economies for 2015, the IMD World Competitiveness Center looks at several aspects of each country as a place to conduct business. The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook measures how well countries manage all their resources and competencies to facilitate long-term value creation. The overall ranking released today reflects more than 300 criteria, approximately two-thirds of which are based on statistical indicators and one-third on an exclusive IMD survey of 6,234 international executives.

The USA remains at the top of the ranking as a result of its strong business efficiency and financial sector, its innovation drive and the effectiveness of its infrastructure. Hong Kong (2) and Singapore (3) move up overtaking Switzerland, which drops to fourth place. Canada (5), Norway (7), Denmark (8), Sweden (9) and Germany (10) remain in the top 10. Luxembourg moves to the top (6) from 11th place in 2014. The Czech Republic ranked 29th, compared with 33rd place in 2014. The ranking highlights one particular commonality among the best ranking countries. Nine countries from the top 10 are also listed in the top 10 of the business efficiency factor.

Click here to read the press release.

News

Politics: EC proposes refugees resettlement quotas as part of its take on migration

15 May 2015

Recent refugee deaths off the shore of the EU in the Mediterranean made the EU executive take action. On 13 May, the European Commission presented its new Migration Agenda. Much has already been discussed and was in fact expected. The Commission plans a two-fold approach – immediate action, based mainly on the European Council conclusions, and a four-pillar “Way Forward”. By the end of May, the Commission will propose amendments to the EU budget to triple the financing of Frontex operation in the Mediterranean, as the EU leaders agreed earlier. Also, the High Representative will look for a way to commence an EU military operation aimed at dismantling the traffickers´ networks. For this, however, the EU would need UN approval (or invitation from Northern African countries). What has provoked the most controversy, however, is the plan to impose mandatory refugee resettlement quotas. Under current laws, asylum seekers are the responsibility of the country in which they first set foot. The vast majority, therefore, ends in Italy or in Spain and the tens of thousands of refugees are a huge burden – not least financial. There have been discussions about an EU resettlement scheme for a long time and in principle many countries support them – including Germany. The EC plans to propose such mandatory scheme under an emergency provision of the Treaty, bypassing the EP and lengthy discussions in the Council, where it only requires a qualified majority. Furthermore, the EU will propose a more permanent solution based on the same principles. Refugees arriving to the EU would be distributed among EU member states based on their size. In the longer term, the Commission will work to enhance legal migration policy, asylum policy, border management and will work hard to reduce incentives for irregular migration.

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Politics: EC unveils its Better Regulation Agenda

22 May 2015

On 19 May, the European Commission published yet another of its big strategies, this time the one dealing with cutting red tape. Delivering on the promise of the Juncker Commission to be “big on big things and small on small things”, the EU executive unveiled its plan to regulate in a more transparent and effective manner. The strategy promises that future Commission public consultations will be made even more public – they will all be accessible through a single portal, with every EU citizen having 8 weeks to send feedback to a proposed piece of legislation. Also, this consultations will not be held only for the “big” directives and regulations (equivalents of laws), but also for the so-called delegated and implementing ones (the more technical ones, equivalents of governmental and ministerial decrees). However, the main attention is centered around the so-called impact assessments – analyses evaluating the proposed pieces of legislation in terms of their effects on the economy, on the environment and so on. The impact assessment process will be strengthened, inter alia by giving more independence to the Commission´s impact assessment board. Most importantly, though, the Commission launched negotiations with the Council and with the European Parliament with the aim to conclude as soon as possible an inter-institutional agreement that would require also the co-legislators to provide impact assessments for the amendments they propose throughout the legislative process. Currently, the impact assessment is only carried out by the Commission concerning the proposed text of the legislative act. But very often the original text is substantially amended in the Council and in the Parliament, without any serious analysis of the impacts.

For more, click here and here.

   

AmCham Policy Report, Issue 4 - April 17

21 April 2015

One year, more or less, into the Sobotka government, can we say we know more about its intentions than we did on its first day? Has it set a clear direction for where it wants to steer the country? If so, has it provided undeniable indications that it has the capability to make the country go where it wants it to go?

We would argue the answers, in order, are no, no, and (by default) no. Nevertheless, the business community and the country seems content with the coalition in power. Their atti-tude toward this government may be more an indictment of previous governments than any enthusiasm for the current constellation of ministers and parties. That means the calm is based more on tolerance than affection for the current group of politicians. Things could go downhill in a hurry.

To download the report click HERE.

 

Competitiveness: Digital Single Market strategy approved

08 May 2015

On 6 May, the European Commission adopted the Digital Single Market strategy, one of the key political priorities of Jean-Claude Juncker´s Commission. Lengthy discussions with many stakeholders accompanied by numerous leaks meant that the strategy text came as no surprise to the Brussels people. No real surprises happened to the specificities of the strategy. The Commission will continue in 3 different directions: 1) better access for consumers and businesses to cross-border digital services, 2) creating conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services and 3) maximizing growth potential of the digital economy. Together, there are 16 specific actions to be taken. The Commission set a deadline of the end of next year to present solutions for all of them.

The most interesting issues of the strategy are copyright reform and geo-blocking, spectrum allocation harmonization and role of the online platforms. Together with the publication of the strategy, the EC informed that it starts a big antitrust probe into digital service providers (similar to the ongoing one against Google).

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