In December 2018, Chamber of Deputies, the Lower House of the Czech Parliament, approved the 2019 state budget with a deficit of 40 billion crowns, or 0.7 percent of GDP. More.
In January 2019, the Chamber of Deputies voted to return pay for the first three days of illness to Czech employees, effective from 1 July 2019. MPs overruled a Senate veto of the bill. Senators argued that the current legislation – under which the first three days are unpaid – keeps the sickness rate down, Radio Praha reported.
The Senate returned an Insolvency Act draft amendment to the Chamber of Deputies. Senators proposed abolishing a condition that repayment to creditors equal the cost of the insolvency trustee's remuneration. More. The Chamber of Deputies overruled Senate’s proposals in January 2019. Read also about Employer's duties in connection with an employee in personal insolvency by bnt attorneys-at-law.
In December 2019, the Senate approved (for the second time) the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Fiscal Pact, after the Chamber of Deputies, gave its consent with the ratification earlier in November. More. The Fiscal Pact is an international treaty that was signed on March 2, 2012 by twenty-five EU Member States, i.e. all but the UK, the Czech Republic and Croatia. It is applicable from 1 January 2013 and is expected to be incorporated into the EU's contractual framework. EU Member States can access the pact at any time without restrictions. The content of the Pact is the framework for budgetary discipline and coordination of the economic policies of the EU Member States that the States Parties undertake to observe. The eurozone countries and non-euro area signatories who have voluntarily announced their intention to be bound by the provisions must implement the rule of balanced government budgets into national law. This means annual government-adjusted balance net of economic cycle and one-off and transitional measures (the so-called structural balance) not worse than minus 0.5 percent of GDP.
The European Commission has called on the Czech Republic to bring its national air quality legislation in line with European norms. According to the Commission, the Czech Republic has not effectively enacted provisions relating to limit values of air pollution and some do not follow the European Air Quality Directive definition, Radio Praha wrote.
From the sessions of the Chamber of Deputies
The Chamber of Deputies passed on 23 January, after the first reading, bill no. 368 - a fast-track process under which legislation will be passed ensuring the rights of British citizens in the Czech Republic in case of hard Brexit. The legislation would introduce transition periods in 18 different areas under which British people would have the same rights as EU citizens until the end of 2020. Read also Brexit could impact 100,000 Czechs in the UK, says Petříček.
Proposal of the Act on Personal Data Protection (bill no. 138), aligned with the EU „GDPR“ regulation, which came into effect in May 2018, had its first reading in April 2018. The Chamber of Deputies passed the bill in December 2018, but the Senate returned the bill with change proposals in January 2019 (see also related legislation).
The Chamber of Deputies has been reviewing legislation related to the mandatory electronic prescription system - the patient's medical record. Physicians and pharmacists should be able to consult healthcare services (upon the patient's consent) on prescribed medical products. The bill also establishes the eRecept information system. The bill no. 302 is being reviewed by the Chamber Committees. Also, draft amendment to the Act on Sickness Insurance proposes obligation of electronic record of inability to work ("PN").
The Government passed in June 2018 draft amendment to the Act on Residence of Foreigners in the Territory of the Czech Republic, a transposition of EU legislation related to residence of third countries nationals for the purpose of research and development, studying, internships, volunteering, exchange and au-pair programs. The bill (no. 203)‚ deals with the issues of, among others, quotas for economic migration, employee cards, and employee visas for specific situations in the Czech labour market. Besides EU measures, the bill includes measures proposed by the Ministry of the Interior. Change proposals were submitted and have been reviewed.
In September 2018, the Government greenlighted draft amendment to the Act on Investment Incentives (bill no. 298). State support should be provided primarily to projects with high value added and selected regions. The bill had its first reading and will be reviewed by the Committees of the Chamber of Deputies.
Draft amendment to the Construction Act (bill no. 279) is in the pipeline to be debated by the Chamber of Deputies. The aim of the bill is to abolish the institute of the binding opinion of the land planning authority. Furthermore, the aim is to establish jurisdiction of a municipal building authority to assess whether the intention is in line with the urban development policy objectives, plans and tasks, the land use planning documentation and other aspects. Another draft amendment to the Constructoin Act is bill no. 383. The current Construction Act has seen over 20 amendments so far and a material intent of a new Construction Act (i.e. a recodification of the Czech construction law) was drafted by the Ministry for Regional Development. The draft is being reviewed within an interministerial commenting round.
In July 2018, the Government passed draft amendment to the Act on Collection of Acts, including measures to complete the projects of e-Collection of Acts and International Treaties and e-Legislation. The Chamber Committees will review the bill (no. 256.)
The Chamber Committees have reviewed draft amendment to the Act on Free Access to Information (bill no. 50) suggesting that state-controlled institutions, including state-owned companies should dislose information (according to Act no. 106/1999) and contracts within the registry of contracts.
From the sessions of the Government
After municipal elections in autumn 2018, representatives of the Pirate Party, the civic movement Praha sobě and the Allied Forces for Prague (comprising TOP 09, the Christian Democrats and Mayors and Independents) signed a coalition agreement and policy program statement.
New governing coalition was established in Brno, comprising representatives of Civic Democrats (ODS), Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), Pirates and Social Democrats (CSSD).
In December 2018, the Government adopted a joint recommendation by the Ministry of Finance and the Czech National Bank not to set a target date for adoption of the euro in the Czech Republic yet.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis has confirmed that a government planned tax reform will have to be postponed until 2021 since the national budget could not afford the subsequent fall-out in revenues it would bring about, Radio Praha wrote.
At its session on 21 January, the Government established the Government Council for Public Investment; the council woll be in charge of coordination and review of big investment projects in the country.
The Government presented Analysis of the Development Potential of Artificial Intelligence in the Czech Republic.
At its session on 4 February, the Government passed the Innovation Strategy 2019-2030 - Czech Republic: The Country For The Future, comprising 9 areas:
The Country for R&D: Financování a hodnocení výzkumu a vývoje
The Country for Technology: Polytechnické vzdělávání
The Country for Startups: Národní startup a spin-off infrastruktura
The Country for Digitalization: Digitální stát, výroba a služby
The Country for Excellence: Inovační a výzkumná centra
The Country for Investment: Chytré investice
The Country for Patents: Ochrana duševního vlastnictví
The Country for Smart Infrastructure: Mobilita a stavební prostředí
The Country for Smart People: Chytrý marketing
The Government presented Concept of Czech Capital Market Development 2019-2023.
The Czech government has approved a legal amendment that changes conditions for operating a taxi.
See also the approved Government Plan of Legislative Works for 2019.
13th May 2019
3rd May 2019