On 3 February, the European Commission issued the long-awaited report on corruption in the Member States. Each of the EU28 is looked upon and the Commission assesses every country in a very complex manner – both legislation and practice are taken into account, alongside with public opinion.
Concerning the Czech Republic, the EC identified four key issues that need to be tackled. Firstly, the civil service needs stability and protection against unnecessary political pressures. Conflicts of interest and arbitrary dismissals are to be suppressed by an effective civil service act and merit-based recruitment should be introduced. The second issue is public procurement. The public procurement act needs to be implemented more effectively, conflicts of interest are to be detected and removed and ex-ante verification needs to be strengthened in cases involving EU Funds. Thirdly, the EC identified political parties´ campaign financing as a weak point. Annual financial reports of electoral campaigns should be easily accessible to the public and the financing should be subject to impartial supervision. Lastly, the prosecutors should be given more independence in corruption cases in order to be able to prosecute cases of big corruption in an effective manner.
According to a poll, 95% of Czechs consider corruption widespread in their country, compared to the 75% EU average. Full 8%, compared to the average 4%, have been asked to pay a bribe in the past year and 71% of businessmen consider corruption a big obstacle for doing business in the Czech Republic, which is the highest percentage in the EU.
16th March 2021
21st April 2021