From the sessions of the Government
At its session on 7 April, the Government passed the Act on State Prosecution (Chamber Bill no. 790) and ZETA, draft of a program supporting applied research submitted by Vice PM Bělobrádek.
On 27 April, the Government passed the updated National Program of Reforms, a document that will be submitted to the European Commission. Among focus areas of the Czech government included in the reform program are improved cost effectivity and management in the health care sector, introduction of measures to support labor market and mobility, inclusive education, or electronic public procurement,
From the sessions of the Senate
At its session on 20 April, the Senate passed the Capital Market Undertakings Act.
Also, the Upper Chamber of the Czech Parliament passed Act on the support of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Draft amendment to the Act on Criminal Liability of Legal Entities, Bill no. 304 was returned to the Chamber of Deputies with change proposals. The intent of the draft amendment is to replace this list (comprising a limited number of criminal acts) by a list of criminal acts with which legal persons cannot be charged. This approach should cover a much wider range of criminal breaches, the proponents suggest.
From the sessions of the Chamber of Deputies
The Chamber will debate the Act on Insolvency (bill no. 785).
The Act on Protection of Competition (Bill no. 702) had its first reading on 9 March, the debate was interrupted. The stated intention of the bill is alignment with the new Czech Civil Code, improved international cooperation between competition authorities, and introduction of rules for documents that contain trade or bank secrets or other confidential information, for example. The bill is being debated at the Chamber Committee level.
On 18 December, draft amendment to the Act on Elections to the Parliament of the Czech Republic was submitted to MPs and the Government. The bill no. 676 proposes rules for correspondence vote. The Government expressed neutral view, the Chamber of Deputies will debate the bill.
The draft Act on Collection of Acts and International Treaties (bill no. 646) had its second reading in the Chamber of Deputies on 12 April, change proposals were submitted. The material introduces electronic process of making and adopting new legislation and allegedly lowers corruption risks related to the making of new regulations. The bill could come into effect in 2020.
At its session on 29 July 2015 the Government passed draft amendment to the Act on Association in Political Parties and Political Movements that deals with the issue of political party financing. The Bill no. 569 is being debated at the Chamber Committee level. The stated intent of the draft act is to introduce more transparent control of financing of political parties and political movements. This includes using transparent bank accounts, setting limits for donations from physical and legal entities, providing detailed overview of incomes and expenditures within annual reports, including elections-related expenditures, and publishing annual reports on the internet. The draft act also gives political parties and movements the opportunity to set up research-oriented political institutes or think-tanks that would be eligible for state contributions. The draft act also provides for the foundation of an independent authority for controlling financing of political parties, based on GRECO (Group of States against Corruption under Council of Europe) recommendations. According to the draft amendment, the limit for a donation of an individual to a political party is set at 3 million CZK. The proposed limits for election campaign financing are following: 90 million CZK for general elections, 40 million CZK for presidential elections, 7 million CZK for regional elections, No limits were set for municipal elections, including the Prague Magistrate. The limit for elections to the European Parliament remains at 50 million CZK. Also, the Government passed draft act introducing changes to election-related acts and other related acts.
Draft amendment to the Act on the Conflict of Interest, bill no. 564, had its first reading in the Chamber of Deputies on 16 December 2015. The bill is being debated at the Chamber Committee level. The material proposes the introduction of an obligation to submit a declaration proving the origin of assets owned by public service officers/politicians on the very first day of his/her service in the new function. The current obligation requires submission of such declaration after one year in office.
At its session on 15 April the Chamber of Deputies passed draft amendment to the Act on the Support of Research, Experimental Development and Innovation. (Bill no. 489). The aim of the bill is to harmonize the Czech law with the new EU legislation and thus increase clarity and applicability of the national legislation. The draft amendment comprises changes in terminology, definitions (industrial research, applied research, experimental development, research organizations), conditions for subsidies and cummulation thereof, etc.
At its session on 14 April, the Legislative Council of the Government recommended the Government to reject draft amendments to the Act on Foreigners' Residence in the Czech Republic and the Act on Public Health Insurance. The draft amendments aim to regulate in a complex way health insurance of foreigners in the Czech Republic. Read more.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs wrote a draft amendment to the Labor Code, proposing changes to regulation of homeworking, and measures for workplace stress prevention, among others. Another draft amendment suggests eliminating the institute of "karenční doba" related to sickness insurance in the first three days of sickness.
The Ministry for Regional Development has been reviewing comments from the interministerial review of its draft amendment to the Construction Act. Click here to view the material.
The interministerial review of the draft amendment to the Act on Employment ended on 9 June. The purpose of the amendment is to regulate temporary employment, including chaining of fixed-term contracts, quotas for temporary employees and protection of temporary employees against insolvency of their employer. Click here to read the draft amendment.
The interministerial review of the draft amendment to the Act on the Residence of Foreigners in the Czech Republic ended on 6 June. The stated intent of the draft amendment is to make the Act simple, compact and user-friendly. For example, the proponents of the bill suggest separation of the EU agenda (entry, residence) from the agenda related to third countries' nationals. The new system should pass more responsibility on foreigners/applicants and/or entities that need these foreigners to enter and reside in the Czech Republic. Click here to read the draft amendment.