Policy Statement of the Government of the Czech Republic

7. 1. 2022 12:52

Policy Statement of the Government

On 6 January 2022, the government of Petr Fiala approved the final version of the Policy Statement of the Government of the Czech Republic.

Contents

Preamble
Public finance
Industry and trade
Social and family policy
Health care
Education and sport
Science, research and innovation
Culture
Foreign policy
European affairs
Defence
Internal security and public administration
Digitisation
Regional and local development
Transport
Agriculture
Environment
Justice and law
Legislation

Preamble

The new government of the Czech Republic is approaching the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament to ask for confidence at a time which, without exaggeration, is one of the most difficult and challenging periods in our modern history. It will have to swiftly deal with a number of negative phenomena that are mostly of external nature, although a significant number of future challenges were caused by a number of unfortunate decisions of the previous government. These are high inflation, the COVID-19 epidemic and the energy crisis.

Besides tackling these current challenges, the new government wants to work hard on a number of long-term topics and projects. It will strive to fulfil its programme, which the five coalition political parties consider necessary for the Czech Republic to be competitive amongst other developed countries and to be able to ensure its safe existence and an ever-increasing standard of living for its citizens in the long term.

The Czech Republic will face a number of challenges, opportunities and decisions in the coming months and years. These will be brought by the changing global economy and the policy developments within the EU and throughout Europe. It is crucial for the Czech Republic to be able to make right and timely decisions. The incoming government is aware of this as well.

The following policy statement is a carefully prepared summary of the key steps based on our coalition programme that the new governing coalition wants to implement over the next four years. These are specific solutions to meet several vital objectives.

We want a State that does not run on debt.

We want a State that is smart, efficient and economical.

We want a State that is part of the democratic Europe and knows that the values of freedom and democracy must be actively promoted and defended.

We want Czech families to have a place to live and our children to have a good education that can prepare them for the ever-changing modern world.

We want people of working age to have a clear idea about their retirement and to know that their old age will be dignified.

We want small and medium-sized enterprises to be the backbone of our economy and the State to support them where necessary.

We want innovation, science and research to be capable of significantly improving the Czech economy on the international field.

We want our agriculture to be environmentally friendly and our forests, land and water to cope with climate change as best they can.

We are aware that these plans are quite ambitious. However, we are positive that we need to start fulfilling them as soon as possible. Our country cannot afford any further delays. That is why we have chosen a policy of openness and transparency from the outset. We do not want to, we must not and we will not lie to our citizens. Even if it might be uncomfortable. We want to be a government that will face its challenges.

We are a coalition government of five parties that represents a wide group of people. We want to be a government that defends the interests of all Czech citizens.

The government’s priorities for change in the future are as follows:

Stabilisation of public finances

Our country needs a responsible budgetary policy that stops wasting taxpayers’ money, finds savings and sets the long-term direction of public finances, and ensures a reasonable public economic management as soon as possible. The path to stability lies in the reform of State spending and efficient management, not in increasing the tax burden.

Focus on EU and NATO

The Czech Republic must be an active member of the European Union and NATO, defending the interests of its citizens. Our foreign policy will be unquestionably oriented towards Euro-Atlantic relationships with an emphasis on a stable partnership with democracies around the world and on the protection of human rights and democracy.

Pension reform

The prosperity of our country lies in its citizens. Therefore, everyone deserves to know they will be safe in old age. We will prepare a reform that takes merit into account and also promotes intergenerational solidarity in families. The reform of the pension system will be based on a society-wide consensus to ensure a long-term perspective.

Education

The future of our country depends on the education of our children. The education system must utilise the potential of great teachers, create space for the development of knowledge, skills and competencies of pupils and students, and it must do so in a modern environment using up-to-date content. The education system must be able to help the weakest as well as support the talent.

Free market support

Promoting small and medium-sized enterprises and targeting subsidies and aid towards actual needs are the way to ensure the prosperity of our country. We will support creative and innovative approaches with the potential for growth and healthy competition. Public aid must not aim at increasing the profits and influence of large companies.

Environment

Climate change is unquestionable. This government is committed to finding solutions that will reduce human impact on climate change. We will look for realistic solutions that will actually help protect the environment, water, soil, forests. All this well aware of the responsibility for our country’s prosperity.

Housing

We do not ignore the problems of our citizens. And lately, housing is one of those problems. We will offer solutions to help both owner-occupied and rented housing, including social housing. The most important step is a fundamental acceleration of building permit proceedings.

Digitisation

Unification and digitisation of State processes mark the path to a friendlier, more efficient and cheaper State administration. We will make our State work effectively through modern technologies. Digitisation ensures a more convenient contact between citizens and the State, and the automation of processes will lead to a more effective fight against corruption.

Science and research

Our country is full of clever, educated and innovative people. Our science and research have a great reputation around the world. Science and research will have our unquestionable support, because we see them as an opportunity to push the Czech Republic up the ranks of the most successful countries.

Modern government

Public administration must be modern, lean and flexible. We will prepare it for the challenges of the 21st century and bring in the best talent to provide top services for our citizens. We will work to ensure that civil servants make better use of data, make data accessible, and that their work is always focused on the citizen.

Responsibility to voters and political culture

We will pursue an improvement in political culture. We will select honest, competent and trustworthy individuals who will defend the interests of the Czech Republic and will not have a conflict of interests. We will set up more predictable meetings of the Chamber of Deputies. We will make sure the citizens can see how the government is implementing the programme – online. We will work constructively with each other and with the opposition.

Public finance

Preamble

The recovery of public finances and the restoration of citizens’ confidence in a just and fair State are the two key challenges for the Czech government in the field of the economy.

The extraordinary economic growth that the country has experienced in recent years has not been used by past governments to implement the necessary reforms. Therefore, the Czech Republic now faces a number of difficult challenges. From tackling the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing social and economic recovery, to the related issues of the global economy, which, due to previous governments’ bad policies, affect our citizens to a much greater extent, for example through rising inflation, rising energy prices or unresolved structural problems in public finances; all of these became apparent even before the outbreak of the global pandemic. 

Therefore, in the interest of sound economic management, we will not allow any further unnecessary indebtedness and we will prepare measures to enable a continuous reduction of budget deficits. Our goal is to not allow budget savings to negatively impact the situation of citizens who depend on State support. Therefore, the government’s motto for the area of public finances is “save on the State, not on the people”. It is time for the citizen, as a taxpayer, to become a partner for the State. The task of the State administration is to support business and create favourable conditions for those who finance the country and create job opportunities.

State action must be predictable for citizens and businesses, so laws and their amendments must be passed well in advance of their effective date. Therefore, we will target to pass the fundamental changes resulting from the policy statement in the middle of the government’s mandate.  Effective date of 1 January 2024 will provide sufficient space for properly drawing up these changes and discussing them with individual economic sectors.

Finance

Sound public finance

  • We will support responsible economic management and growth with a predictable level of investment.
  • In the interest of sound public finances, we are committed to meeting the Maastricht criteria and other EU budgetary rules as soon as possible.
  • We will gradually strengthen capital expenditures with regard to the actual possibilities of drawing them. We will involve EU resources as much as possible.
  • We will strive to include the Act on the Rules of Budgetary Responsibility, or a part thereof, in the constitutional order of the Czech Republic.
  • We will adjust the spending rule so that it will not be possible to increase government spending without regard for our reserves and economic situation.
  • We will create a tax brake rule to set a ceiling on the tax burden. Once the compound tax quota reaches the ceiling, tax increases will be disallowed by default.
  • We will prevent tax evasion.
  • We will address the issue of the outflow of dividends abroad in order to increase the attractiveness of investment in the Czech Republic by making reinvestment back into the Czech economy favourable.
  • We will provide better measures against transfer pricing abuses, illegal optimisation practices and tax evasion.
  • We will cut tax haven companies off from public money.
  • In the European Union, we will promote transparent reporting of multinational companies based on the country of origin of sales and limiting the scope for illegal tax optimisation at the expense of Czech citizens.
  • We will support the implementation of the conclusions of the OECD two-pillar solution for global taxation.
  • We will take firm action against illegal gambling.
  • We will examine the possibility of abolishing non-systemic tax exemptions.

Employee and business support

  • We will increase the limit for mandatory VAT registration to CZK 2 million and set the possibility of using the flat tax regime to the same limit.
  • We will support part-time work by reducing social security contributions. We will set motivating conditions for tax rebates and deductions with reasonable marginal tax rates.
  • We will reduce the grey economy, among other things by resolving the situation of people dealing with distraint, so as to eliminate problems with their employment (e.g. by reforming wage deductions).
  • The government’s saving measures will be socially sensitive, especially with regard to priorities in the areas of education, health care, social care and with a view of maintaining the current pension indexation mechanism.
  • We will reduce social insurance on the part of employers by 2 percentage points, assuming consolidated and long-term sustainable public finances.
  • We will reduce the number of depreciation groups and shorten the depreciation period for selected groups.
  • We will reduce the bureaucratic burden in the administration of taxes and fees, abolish the mandatory electronic registration of sales and adjust the parameters of the VAT control statement.
  • We will introduce a single collection point and develop the State’s digital tools. We will strive to connect individual portals with other State systems to eliminate reporting obligations for citizens and companies.

Supporting family budgets

  • We will introduce the indexation of the taxpayer discount.
  • We will introduce tax breaks with capped income for families who draw parental allowance or have three or more children.
  • We will introduce the possibility to deducting a certain amount of payments for care services from taxes.
  • We will support multi-source financing of long-term care through tax instruments.

Municipal and regional budgets

  • We will expand the possibilities of municipalities in determining the coefficient of the basic real estate tax rate.
  • Municipalities, regions and the State will collect more money from mining in their territory thanks to the taxation of mining. We will also keep in mind the adjacent municipalities.

For a better future

  • Instead of throwing the book at citizens, we will support a pro-client approach of the Financial Administration.
  • We will support and improve the multi-annual funding system in the priority areas.
  • We will set ecological incentives for companies and we will examine the possibility of reducing VAT on all organic products.
  • Excise duties will take into account the harmfulness of their target.
  • We will simplify and improve the use of European funds (National Recovery Plan, Modernisation Fund, Operational Programme Just Transition), which can make a significant contribution to economic growth.
  • We are focused on the challenges associated with environmental objectives for economic growth, such as decarbonisation, digital transformation, the circular economy, the development of alternative fuels and low and zero emission vehicles, as well as research, development and innovation.

Finance – transparency

  • We will promote a system of retrospective control and evaluation of expenditure effectiveness.
  • We will introduce a unified public register of public aid.
  • We will carry through the rules for transparent documentation of the beneficial owners of enterprises that draw subsidies, investment incentives and win public contracts.
  • We will revise the area of price regulation. In areas where price regulation is essential, we will ensure that the impact on regulated entities, industry and consumers is proportionate. We will eliminate the issue of duplicity of powers to perform price controls and completely revise the regulations in the area of price regulation and price control.
  • We will comprehensively revise the system of public funds controls with an emphasis on strengthening its economy, efficiency and effectiveness and on reducing the administrative burden on the part of its targets.

Industry and trade

Preamble

The Czech Republic faces major challenges represented by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented energy crisis. At the same time, it has to deal with major global technological and environmental changes and the necessary transformation of its economy.

We will carefully choose the most suitable tools not only to maintain, but also to further improve the competitiveness of Czech industry. We will reduce the burden on companies and sole traders and support the activities of producers in order to increase the share of final products in their total production. We will continue to actively promote the interests of the Czech Republic in the EU and implement a targeted pro-export policy. We will also prioritise the development of nuclear energy and renewables, with an emphasis on energy security, self-sufficiency, climate objectives and affordable energy supplies.

The Czech Republic must also become one of the innovation leaders and further develop the potential of digital and new technologies for its benefit. That is why we will focus on quality education, support for research and development, the introduction of innovation and the necessary transition to a sustainable and digital economy. We will focus on supporting the digital transformation of companies and new technologies in the business sphere.

Industry

  • The Green Deal is an opportunity to significantly modernise the Czech economy, increase the quality of life and improve our environment by investing in sustainable development, clean and renewable resources and the circular economy. Public money must be channelled into solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • When negotiating specific measures in the EU, we will take into account their social and economic impacts and specific conditions of the Czech Republic.
  • We will prepare impact studies for individual draft measures and we will initiate the same with the European Commission.
  • At European level, we will support the introduction of a carbon offset mechanism at the borders, which will help achieve the EU’s climate objectives and support domestic and European industry.
  • When negotiating regulatory proposals, we will always thoroughly assess the impacts on Czech industry and economy and take into account the specifics of individual sectors.
  • We will present a draft Act on Building Information Modelling (BIM), which will enable the use and sharing of data for the preparation of buildings, their permitting and use during their lifetime (digital twins).

Mining and raw materials

  • We consider the coal mining limits final and unbreakable.
  • We will use EU resources in a transparent and equitable manner to transform energy and industry and to improve the quality of life in the affected regions. The structurally handicapped regions – Karlovy Vary, Moravian-Silesian and Ústí nad Labem – deserve special attention.
  • We will create conditions for energy transformation and development of coal regions and continue to implement the programme of revitalisation of environmental damage caused before the privatisation of lignite mining companies in the Ústí nad Labem and Karlovy Vary regions and the revitalisation program of the Moravian-Silesian region, especially in the revitalisation of damage caused by former mining activities.

Energy

  • By the end of 2023, we will prepare an update of the State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic with regard to the EU’s climate and energy objectives.
  • We see the future of Czech energy in a combination of nuclear energy and decentralised renewable sources with an emphasis on technological neutrality and scientific knowledge. These principles must also be respected in the EU regulatory framework for sustainable financing and in State aid rules. We will not back down from efforts to have nuclear energy recognised as a sustainable activity and natural gas as a key transformation fuel in the decarbonisation process.
  • We will contribute to the rehabilitation of photovoltaics because we consider it a key renewable in our geographical conditions. We will contribute to the establishment of new photovoltaic installations on at least one hundred thousand roofs by 2025.
  • By the end of 2022, we will prepare a new Energy Act, which will enshrine the principles and requirements of community energy, simplify the installation of equipment on houses for owners and allow them to share or sell the energy obtained. We will support municipalities and communities in their efforts to simplify administration in the building industry. Customer protection and State tools for energy market supervision will be strengthened.
  • Coal-fired power plants will be shut down under the condition of ensuring sufficient back-up capacities. We will preserve the central heat supply system, utilise co-generation and equalise market conditions. We will prepare the transition of the heating industry to low-emission sources without allowing steep price increases. We will swiftly prepare a strategy for the decarbonisation of the heating industry, which we will discuss with relevant partners. We will create the conditions for energy transformation and development of coal regions to allow for a shift away from coal by 2033.
  • We will negotiate an increase in the Modernisation Fund and its actual use for the transformation and modernisation of our country. We will effectively use the Modernisation Fund, proceeds from emission allowances and funds resulting from austerity measures to modernise the energy and heating sectors and the industry for the benefit of citizens and small and medium-sized enterprises.  These funds will also be used to offset the impact of the energy crisis.
  • The importance of natural gas as a transition source to compensate for fluctuations will increase. However, this increase must not jeopardise our geopolitical situation. We will try to acquire a stake in an LNG terminal in a neighbouring country to gain access to more resources.
  • We will legislatively improve the functioning of State supervision in the sale and distribution of electricity. For small energy producers, we will create legislative conditions for supplying energy to the grid at a fair price.
  • The Czech Republic will stop lagging behind in energy savings. In public procurement, we will take into account the entire life cycle of the subject-matter and support more efficient energy management in State buildings.
  • We will continue the Green Savings programme (insulation, boiler replacement, installation of PV in conjunction with batteries, heat pumps with PV).
  • We will continue to publicly support energy research and development with a focus on low carbon technologies.
  • We will continue the development of smart grids. Our aim will be to ensure high reliability, quality and security of electricity supply and to improve the digitisation and automation of the distribution and transmission system. 
  • We will place greater emphasis on increasing the energy efficiency of the economy and on renovation of buildings, including public ones, as one of the key pillars of EU and Czech energy and climate policy.

Nuclear energy

  • We will promote the development of nuclear energy. We will use this to fulfil our climate commitments and ensure long-term compensation for emission sources.
  • In the EU, we will promote nuclear energy to be on level playing field with other low-carbon sources.
  • We will support the long-term operation of the existing nuclear units and the construction of a new source in Dukovany, provided that it is not built by Russian or Chinese companies. We will prepare the supporting documents for decisions on other units in the existing nuclear sites in Temelín and Dukovany.
  • We will strengthen research and development and international cooperation in nuclear energy and prepare a policy for the use of small modular reactors in the Czech Republic.
  • We will continue to prepare a deep repository for radioactive waste. We will strengthen the rights of the affected municipalities in the decision-making process regarding the location of the deep repository. We will also evaluate other solutions than the final location of the deep repository in the Czech Republic.

Support for business

  • We will enable accounting and tax records in euro.
  • We will continue to reduce the bureaucratic burden on companies and sole traders.
  • We will finish the structure of innovation and reference centres (testbeds) of new technologies.
  • We will open the labour market to job seekers from third countries, ensure digitisation of the work permit process and significantly accelerate it.
  • We will make issuing employee shares more attractive.
  • We will work to increase competition on the telecommunications market.
  • We will modernise long-term skills development programmes to respond to changes in the economy. We will prepare a set of measures to quickly simplify business in the Czech Republic. We will prepare the business package based on an analysis of the business environment and an evaluation of the administrative burden of entrepreneurs; the package will be continuously updated.
  • We will ensure effective cooperation of individual inspection bodies and thus reduce the administrative burden or ambiguities in interpretation.
  • We will provide financing for the development of the innovation environment and start-ups. We will promote the coordination of start-up support provided by State institutions and regional entities engaged in innovation, so that information can get to start-up entrepreneurs and existing programmes can be used in a realistic and effective manner.
  • We will focus on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises. We will simplify subsidy programmes for these enterprises.
  • We will use the measures contained in the SME Support Strategy in the Czech Republic for the period 2021–2027 as the basis for the support of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Czech Republic.
  • We will strive to increase the share of projects with high added value (“brains”) and a high share of research and development in the Czech economy; in particular, we will use tax measures to support reinvestment in research and development. We will maintain effective investment programmes, especially for the smallest enterprises. We will direct public sector investments towards the efficient use of brownfields for business development without occupying new land.
  • We will support the modernisation and increased competitiveness of industry and the entire Czech economy based on high added value, innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, growth of labour productivity and capital and the creation of a final production environment.

Supporting the development of the digital economy

  • We will support the development of the digital economy and society in the investment areas of building very high capacity networks, including support for regions in building high-speed networks in municipalities; we will also support the development of 5G-based smart applications.
  • We will support the use of new technologies and systematically promote the teaching of digital skills across the education system as part of an active employment policy.

Support for export and internationalisation of companies

  • We will increase the resilience of the Czech economy by ensuring a secure investment environment and supporting the diversification of supply flows.
  • We will open doors to third countries for exporters. By the end of 2022, we will create a new strategy to support exports and the internationalisation of companies. We will target cross-cutting sectors, innovative companies and manufacturers of final products with high added value and adapt individual instruments to their needs.
  • In the interest of economic recovery and support for Czech exporters, we will promote the full functionality of the EU internal market and the principles of open global trade. 
  • We will ensure the rapid and efficient use of European structural and investment funds. Our support programmes will be based on simple, stable and clear conditions.

Social and family policy

Preamble

The Czech Republic is facing a difficult situation; the society, economy and public budgets are recovering from the effects of the never-ending coronavirus pandemic, inflation and, moreover, the current energy crisis. The successful path out of this crisis can only be found by socially cohesive society of educated, responsible and active people, which is also a prerequisite for the long-term sustainable development of society. Such society is based on functioning stable families, participating civil society and local communities, decent work and affordable social care and social services of adequate quality.

We will implement the necessary measures, reforms and changes in a socially sensitive way, taking into account the most vulnerable members of society, with an emphasis on family support and a long-term stable pension system, active employment policy and balanced protection of employees’ and employers’ rights. We will also emphasise the availability of social services, support in securing affordable housing and the fight against poverty and social exclusion. The level of society and the State is reflected in how they care for their most vulnerable members.

Family policy and employment

  • The family and its stability represents an important value and a priority for the government, so we will support more flexible working hours for parents, offer greater opportunities to reconcile family and working life so that people can afford to spend more time with their children and care for their loved ones.
  • Using tax instruments and a simplified system of social benefits, we will ensure that the work and costs associated with raising children and caring for loved ones do not lead to a drop in living standards.
  • We will support shorter working hours, including favourable taxation, a discount on insurance contributions, and we will increase the flexibility of the Labour Code in the interests of both the employers and employees. Public administrations and organisations will lead by example in offering work-life balance for their employees.   
  • We will implement a unified public administration portal for online employer support.
  • We will maintain the important role of tripartite consultation in negotiations on labour-law and social issues.
  • We will finalise a targeted programme to support the maintenance of employment; after the notification of the Kurzarbeit (short-time work), we will flexibly prepare a relevant Government Decree.
  • We will expand the range of services for children, preserve children’s groups and support services and care for the youngest children; we will also increase the quality and availability of these services.
  • We will set up financial support based on the child’s age and the complexity of care in order to increase quality and availability.
  • We will ensure enough capacity for co-curricular activity clubs and other after-school activities.
  • We will enable a more flexible distribution of care in the family. Grandparents will also be able to receive a parental allowance.
  • We will focus on the specific needs of single persons, families with more children and families with a member with disability.
  • In cooperation with the Ministry of Health, we will support the development of palliative care, including field care and children’s hospice care and professional support for surviving families.
  • We will streamline and support the network of counselling facilities for families in crisis, as well as services and activities focused on primary prevention.
  • We will unify the system of care for families and children at risk from three ministries under the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
  • We will add the family theme to the name of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
  • We will provide more effective assistance to at-risk children based on the needs of the children and their families.
  • We will promote children growing up in families instead of institutions, especially the youngest children.
  • We will support long-term and temporary foster parents; we will introduce a nationwide register of foster parents.
  • We will support the regions to transform their services for at-risk children, strengthen the capacity of social activation services for families and improve the system of selection and training of foster parents.
  • We will support and improve the system of substitute family care, including the department of family care and foster care.
  • We will strive to carry through measures to prevent the abuse of children in legal disputes between parents; we will clarify the competencies of social workers in competence guardianship processes.
  • We will increase the limits for agreements to complete a job and agreements to perform work.
  • We will introduce automatic indexation of the minimum wage.
  • We will clearly define the conditions for simplifying the inflow of labour.
  • We will expand the availability of counselling in dealing with distraint and debt traps.

Social services and social benefits

  • We will introduce multi-annual financing of social services with a 3-year view, so that the new financing takes into account the needs of the regions.
  • Using concrete measures, we will support the development of at-home social and health care, field services and the creation of services for families and households.
  • We will work towards systemic changes to integrate and link social and health services in long-term care.
  • We will support family carers.
  • We will support the availability of the necessary tools and supporting technologies, State-financed psychosocial support, information and education, including direct financial support. The aim is to develop a network of relief services and services for persons with special needs.
  • We will support the transformation of residential facilities into smaller, community-type facilities.
  • We will prepare an amendment to the Act on Social Services, which will eliminate the administrative and bureaucratic burden in the provision of social services with an emphasis on the quality of services.
  • We will ensure the indexation of financial resources for social services and the care allowance.
  • We will ensure fair remuneration for social workers.
  • We will support transparency and online communication between clients of social services, recipients of social benefits, providers of social services and employees of ministerial authorities.
  • We will ensure the interconnectedness of ministerial authorities, online submission of applications and publication of information regarding the system of assistance and the availability of services, support and benefits.
  • We will review the process of allocating aids from health insurance and through the Labour Office in order to support the availability of modern technologies.
  • We will actively integrate persons with disabilities into society and the labour market; we will review the current system of support for their employment.
  • We will carry through the Act on Social Entrepreneurship.
  • We will simplify and speed up the process of granting financial assistance to persons with disabilities, in particular care allowances and disability pensions.
  • We will make changes to the assessment by the Medical Assessment Service and the social investigation by social workers.
  • We will support the participation of private sources in the financing of social services while maintaining social insurance.
  • We will remove “breakpoints” from benefit and tax systems so that people do not remain trapped in poverty and have more incentive to work.
  • We will speed up digitisation and simplify administration, including its online form and rigorous control thereof.
  • We will ensure that the living standards of at-risk groups are not reduced and that the system is not abused at the same time.
  • We will consider introducing a system of indexation where there is a need to ensure greater predictability, such as in the area of parental allowance or subsistence minimum.

Pension system

  • We are preparing a real pension reform with the aim of setting up a stable system of just pensions and we will present that by the end of 2023.
  • We will prepare a draft pension reform, which will consist of two main components and a third voluntary component; the basic component will increase and reflect the requirements for the dignity of old age and the financial capabilities of the State.
  • The merit component will be based on contributions to the insurance system and the number of children brought up.
  • The voluntary component will be established as a State or public fund inspired by experience from abroad.
  • We will maintain and support private pension savings.
  • We will also improve information on the expected amount of pensions in the pension calculator and offer the possibility to upload documents online and find out exact data on years worked in time.
  • We will support seniors working in retirement age and we will take the total years worked into greater account.
  • We will reduce the period needed to qualify for a pension.
  • We will put the period of studies back into the substitute period.
  • We will enable earlier retirement for employees in demanding professions with greater employer responsibility.
  • We will introduce a fictitious assessment basis for extending the excluded period of care.
  • Current pension beneficiaries will receive a bonus for children brought up.
  • We will introduce a voluntary joint assessment basis for spouses.
  • We will increase widow’s and widower’s pensions.
  • We will introduce the possibility to pay 1% of one’s pension insurance to parents or grandparents.
  • We will support voluntary pension savings, e.g. in the form of a long-term investment account.

Health care

Preamble

We will promote the area of “public health” programmes to support prevention and healthy nutrition. Prevention is the most effective approach to preventing disease, improving the quality of life and supporting the health of our citizens. It is the support of this hitherto neglected area that aims to equalise the quality of health of Czech seniors with the developed countries of the European Union.

We consider quality and affordable health care for all without regional differences to be one of the pillars of a modern and successful State. To ensure this, it is necessary to provide the necessary support to the health system in the form of transparent, predictable and adequate financial security. Therefore, we plan to finance it at least on a two-year basis.

We will focus on strengthening the education of doctors, young scientists and researchers. We will simplify the preparation for attestation of competence and control its quality. We will empower the role of trainers, which is absolutely crucial.

We must learn to live with COVID-19. We will not keep indefinitely limiting health care for other patients. COVID-19 must simply become another serious disease that the health care can address and prevent its serious course. During the pandemic, it became clear that citizens were confused by the views of various “media experts”. Therefore, in cooperation with the Czech Medical Association of Jan Evangelista Purkyně (CMA JEP), we will create a generally respected and understandable expert authority that will formulate expert opinions. We draw inspiration from the German Robert Koch Institute, which worked excellently not only during the pandemic. The cooperation with CMA JEP will be based on the establishment of the National Institute for Pandemic Management by the end of January 2022, which will provide expert and independent support for the Ministry of Health in cooperation with the Scientific Council of the Ministry of Health.

Financing, economics and the role of health insurance companies

  • We will open a discussion on the need and suitability of price competition for health insurance companies. We will introduce the possibility of voluntary supplementary insurance.
  • We will strengthen public control over health care funding. We will implement a systematic evaluation of the costs and benefits of new technologies and the publication of recommended clinical practices. By the end of 2022, we will create a separate panel for the Agency for Healthcare Research to develop clinical best practices. Their recommendations will also be reflected by the Instrument Committee of the Ministry of Health.
  • We will introduce multi-year financing and planning of health care reimbursements. We will continue to implement CZ-DRG in payments and eliminate inequalities in payments in other segments. By the end of our mandate, we will enforce regular indexation of payments for State-insured persons.

Quality and availability of health care 

  • We will take steps to increase transparency, especially to further develop systematic measurement of the quality of services provided by the Health Insurance Bureau and other entities.
  • We will support the exchange of information between providers and patients, i.e. the accelerated development of the digitalisation of Czech health care and the interconnection of the systems of individual healthcare facilities.
  • We will strictly control how insurance companies implement their responsibility for the creation of a network of medical capacities and its even distribution, including the medical emergency service. In cooperation with insurance companies, we will create a system for monitoring and managing waiting times for planned treatments and examinations. We will introduce electronic monitoring of free capacities for registration with some specialised doctors (general practitioners, dentists, women’s or children’s doctors).
  • We will introduce regular reporting of important data directly managed by the Ministry of Health and systematic controlling using electronic tools – evaluation of results with a clear impact on practice.
  • We will implement personnel, investment and operational benchmarking of directly managed organisations.
  • We will take steps to unify the complaints agenda of health care providers.
  • We will support the women’s choice of care provider during pregnancy, in labour and after birth by making midwives available, with an emphasis on the continuity of one-person care.

Medical education 

  • Stabilisation of the system and elimination of constant changes is crucial for the development of education.
  • We will set up a more accommodating and effective model of postgraduate education for doctors and non-medical fields. This will be achieved, among other things, through direct financial support for non-medical fields, stomatology and the financing of the credentialing branch of trainers and their remuneration from the State budget based on an analysis of personnel requirements in individual fields.
  • Priority will also be given to incentive programmes for the return of our top scientists from abroad.
  • Students will be guaranteed clear educational plans, time to prepare and the elimination of unnecessary formalities in attestation and qualification education. By mid-2022, we will amend the Education Decree to simplify the examination after education in the basic branch.
  • We will adjust the competencies of doctors and non-medical staff so that they correspond to modern trends in medicine, education and experience of individual health professionals.

Prevention and nutrition – improving the health of the population 

  • We will create an environment that supports a healthy lifestyle and design its implementation with the involvement of all relevant sections of society, especially insurance companies, schools, employers and the non-profit non-governmental sector. We will reform primary care and strengthen primary and secondary disease prevention, and increase health literacy and citizens’ responsibility for their own health.
  • We will promote the introduction of dietetic food in schools and kindergartens. We will support the production of local food with an emphasis on  quality, prevention of diseases of civilization and added value at the place of production; by the end of 2022, we will prepare the legislative conditions for this change.
  • We will focus on the introduction of innovative forms of care focused on the prevention and management of chronic diseases – cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, psychiatric diseases. By the end of 2022, we will support the establishment of other comprehensive health care centres.
  • We will focus on financial incentives for health insurance companies, health care providers and patients in the field of prevention.
  • In cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, we will provide quality and accessible social services for persons with autism and functional disabilities.
  • By taking a proactive approach to psychiatric care reform, we will streamline and modernise the treatment of mental illness and reduce its impact on society, including its paediatric version.
  • We will increase the availability of preventive interventions, which will allow us to reduce the incidence of psychiatric diseases and their impact on the health care system.
  • We will improve the regional coverage and reach of the psychiatric care network by strengthening outreach services and more appropriate anchoring of mental health centres.
  • In addressing the issue of addiction, we will apply a policy based on a scientifically proven and balanced concept of risk prevention and harm reduction, while ensuring sufficient funding for both prevention programmes and services and the regulation of addictive substances corresponding to their degree of harmfulness.

Education and sport

Preamble

The future of any developed country is closely linked to its quality of education. Therefore, our education system must be able to respond to the challenges it faces and it must have schools that can prepare our children and young people for life in 21st century. The key document in this regard is the Education Policy Strategy of the Czech Republic until 2030+, which was prepared in cooperation with the professional public and based on an agreement across the political spectrum. Our coalition government faces the crucial task of bringing this strategic document to life in such a form that affects the everyday operation of every educational institution in the Czech Republic.

The government has an important task of obtaining more funding for education so that public expenditure on education and school services in relation to GDP corresponds to at least the OECD average level. This will ensure an increase in the quality of education in nursery, primary, primary arts, secondary and higher vocational schools, higher education institutions, conservatories and in institutions that provide lifelong learning. Education, basic and applied research and the application of its results in society contribute to addressing global and local challenges in the areas of health and quality of life, historical and cultural heritage, sustainable development, technical progress, security, rights and equality in society. The Czech Republic must respond to these current challenges and the demographic development and it must be a confident and competitive country. The coalition government sees the key to achieving this in emphasising education and research.

Support for schools and pedagogical workers

  • We guarantee an adequate remuneration of pedagogical workers and we will keep their salaries at the level of 130% of the average gross monthly salary. We will place emphasis on maintaining a 20% share of above-flat-rate salary components and the effective use thereof. We will prepare and implement a system of professional growth of teachers as a tool for professional support.
  • We will significantly improve the conditions for the teaching profession, in particular by sufficiently expanding the professional support for teachers in schools, including the support for new teachers by the end of 2022.
  • In cooperation with the faculties of education and faculties that prepare teachers, we will strengthen the incentives for choosing the teaching profession and we promote a reform of teacher training with an emphasis on practical skills.
  • We will legislative anchor supporting positions in schools and make them more accessible by the end of 2024.
  • We will support teachers in individualising teaching, working with diverse groups of children and students, developing the potential of students with social and other disadvantages. We will pay special attention to the development of talent and work with exceptionally gifted students.
  • We will create conditions for strengthening the key role of school principals – pedagogical leaders, including the reduction of the administrative burden, among other things, through the development of the public administration information system by September 2023.
  • We will ensure investments in the construction and renovation of educational infrastructure, using the European funds as much as possible. We will provide sufficient funding for the acquisition and expansion of digital teaching aids (including ICT), as well as for the development of digital skills for teachers and children, pupils and students.
  • We will support nursery schools by improving methodological guidance and institutional introduction of supporting staff.

Quality of education

  • We will improve the quality of teaching in primary and secondary schools by finalising the revision of the framework educational programmes by the end of 2023, emphasising the volume, content and current relevance of the curriculum and ensuring the conditions for their implementation in schools, thus improving the quality of teaching in primary and secondary schools, increasing the potential for teamwork, development of pupils’ creativity and individual approach.
  • We will focus on reducing the overall volume of the curriculum and support quality (understanding) over quantity (memorisation). 
  • We will emphasise the development of literacy, knowledge and skills needed in everyday life. We will focus on supporting civic education, ethical education, financial and media literacy and critical thinking. The teaching of 20th century history will change, with a focus on undemocratic regimes and social extremism.
  • We will actively address regional differences in the quality of education. We will support schools in regions with below-average educational outcomes through intervention programmes. We will also promote work with the families of children from socially disadvantaged environments and children with different first language. We will maintain the system of inclusive education and carefully revise it so that it truly reflects the pupils’ needs the schools’ possibilities. We will improve prevention and adjust the form of alternative care for children in institutional and protective education facilities so that it resembles the family environment as closely as possible.
  • We will focus on the verification of acquired competencies and literacy in the nodal points of education; on that basis, we will prepare changes in the entrance, school-leaving (Matura) and graduation examinations, including the emphasis on their digitisation. 
  • We will also prioritise the support of grammar schools and general education. In terms of vocational education, we want to develop nationally anchored models of cooperation between schools and the corporate sector and to lay down rules on supporting dual education in a modified form adapted to the conditions in the Czech Republic, i.e. using the widest range of possibilities and forms of voluntary cooperation between schools and corporations, including support for companies that decide to enrol in this system.
  • We will support quality education at primary art schools and conservatories.
  • We will increase support for lifelong learning through partnership between the State, employers and trade unions. We will adjust the legislative framework for lifelong learning and lay down the roles and responsibilities of the partners in the system. In cooperation with employers and their sector councils, we will update the National Qualifications Framework and fundamentally improve inter-ministerial cooperation in this area, also with regard to the interconnection with the National Register of Occupation.
  • We will strengthen the area of further education of pedagogical workers by offering quality and interconnected educational programmes, including online education. We will prepare instruments for evaluating their quality. 
  • We will develop a comprehensive system of digital educational resources and improve their availability.
  • We will support organisations working with children and youth, volunteering and we will also focus on supporting non-formal education and its integration with formal education.

Higher education institutions, research and development

  • The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports will closely co-operate with the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation in this area.
  • By January 2024, we will adjust the system of financing higher education institutions so that it takes more account of quality teaching and education in professionally oriented study programmes.
  • We will participate in the further development and implementation of the M17+ Evaluation Methodology, especially in the segment of higher education institutions, including the related improvement of institutional funding.
  • We will support flexible forms of education and recognition of prior learning outcomes. In cooperation with higher education institutions, we will support the expansion of the offer of professional bachelor’s degree programmes by September 2022 so that they better reflect the needs of the labour market.
  • We will support the digitisation of activities directly related to the provision of educational activities and administrative tasks related to the study agenda.
  • Based on predetermined criteria, we will support selected institutions on their path towards excellence by January 2023, so that they can be top research universities with secured long-term institutional funding. We will improve the possibilities of their strategic management.
  • We will prepare the reform of doctoral studies and its financing with the aim of creating the most favourable conditions for the quality development of the upcoming generation of scientists.
  • We will strive to increase the financial allocation to support basic research. We will further promote and incentivise the mobility of researchers, internationalise the environment of research organisations and support targeted bilateral and multilateral contacts with key international partners.
  • Based on a system of regular evaluation with international participation, we will support the long-term sustainability of top research infrastructures and their connection to international structures.

Sports

  • We will transform the National Sports Agency into a functional organisation that will distribute subsidies transparently. The active lifestyle of children and youth is our priority.
  • For the year 2023, we are updating the investment programmes of the National Sports Agency so that they take into account the possibilities of regions, towns and cities and clearly determine how self-governments will participate in sports activities and investments.
  • We will introduce multi-annual funding for sports and we will strive for transparent multi-source funding.
  • We will secure the duration of subsidy programmes so that sports organisations have secure financing for their activities and development. We will set up non-investment programmes so that they can be drawn more easily and from the beginning of each year.
  • When building sports grounds, we will prioritise school sports grounds and multifunctional sports grounds corresponding to the technical parameters of specific sports.
  • We will support the creation of comprehensive and optimised facilities where athletes will train related sports. We will support the establishment of sports centres.
  • We will define a special investment programme for infrastructure that meets international requirements.
  • We will support available sports grounds for children, families, seniors and athletes with disability, which will be taken into account in the priorities of the National Sports Agency.
  • We will support all leisure organisations (Skaut, Sokol, Orel, etc.) and similar civil society activities. We will strengthen investment subsidies from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for leisure organisations.

Science, research and innovation

Preamble

Science, research, development and innovation are one of the key investments in our country’s future, prosperity and competitiveness, the quality of life of all its inhabitants and a cohesive and resilient society. Scientific knowledge, as well as research and innovation activities, are a prerequisite for building an economy with higher added value, for the cultural and spiritual development of society, as well as for the overall modernisation of public administration and the implementation of data-based public policies. They are also a prerequisite for successful and sustainable solutions to current societal challenges and for our ability to respond adequately and flexibly to emerging megatrends, including digital and green transitions.

The Czech Republic must aim to become one of the European leaders in the field of excellence, science, research and innovation, across the whole spectrum of fields. Through science and research, we will strengthen critical thinking and the ability to understand the world in a broader context and contribute to a shared perception of the reality around us.

Modern, coordinated and transparent management system

  • We will set up functional and clear coordination mechanisms for effective cooperation between the individual actors of the research system at all its levels, as well as for the effective development of its individual components. We will pay special attention to setting up support for excellent research institutes.
  • Following a thorough analysis and a wide-ranging discussion and taking into account examples of good practice from abroad, we will prepare a comprehensive amendment to the Research and Development Support Act to reduce administrative burdens, eliminate fragmentation and simplify the overall management and support system.
  • We will update priorities in coordination with relevant partners based on long-term national and European policies, and we will target public funds mainly towards these priorities.
  • Due to the lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will design tools to support research, development and innovation in crisis situations. We will also pay attention to strategically important fields that are lagging behind in the current conditions.
  • We will focus on evaluating support instruments for research, development and innovation, e.g. in the field of applied research and technology transfer, as necessary conditions for successful economic support.
  • In the area of evaluation of research organisations and evaluation of targeted support programmes for research, development and innovation, we will complete the implementation of the Methodology 17+ and we will continue to develop it in all segments of research organisations.
  • We will strengthen the role of the Science Diplomacy Network with a view to, among other things, the successful transfer of good practice from abroad.

People in science, research, development and innovation

  • We will focus on managing the quality of human resources in science, research, development and innovation and on developing their potential.
  • Our priorities will include the reconciliation of work and family life, increasing the share of women in science, improving the motivation of young researchers for research careers, creating an attractive working environment for top Czech and foreign researchers, supporting international and national mobility and the return policy.

Financing of research, development and innovation

  • We will increase overall spending on research, development and innovation. We will focus on utilising the synergy effect in the form of combining and linking different types of resources to increase investment in science, research, development and innovation.
  • We will eliminate the fragmentation of the financing system and unify the rules of national subsidy programmes. We will stabilise institutional support and further aim and streamline targeted support.
  • We will create appropriate conditions for greater involvement of private investment in science and research. Based on complementarity analyses of direct and indirect support instruments, we will motivate companies to reinvest their revenues in research activities.
  • We will support greater use of community resources in connection with the support of excellent research institutes.

Technology transfer

  • We will support the transfer of the results of research and innovation activities with the aim of successfully putting them into practice, both in corporations and in public administration. We will support the cooperation of science with industry.
  • We will streamline support for the transfer and commercialisation of research results with the intention of improving cooperation between the academia and, especially, small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Taking into account examples of domestic and foreign good practice, we will improve the incentive conditions for the creation of research start-ups and spin-offs.

Publicity of science, research, development and innovation

  • We will set up an open approach to communication with the media, the scientific and research community, pupils, students and teachers, and the application sphere.
  • We will focus on popularising the results of science, research and innovation, creating interest and raising general awareness of scientific topics, thus strengthening confidence in the results of Czech science and research.
  • We will pay attention to more efficient sharing of information in science, research, development and innovation through the use of modern and innovative technologies.

Culture

Preamble

Culture co-creates values of society and brings beauty to our lives. Culture unites us, because it strengthens the cohesion of society. It is the glue that holds the nation together, and the bridge between us, our ancestors and future generations. It also has an economic dimension. With the help of sensible State policy, it can generate significant financial resources, employ many people and improve the image of our country abroad. Therefore, our goal is to strengthen the place of culture in Czech society.

We want to achieve this not only by improving the financing of the entire cultural area, but also by preparing legislation that will correspond to the state of culture, monument care and media in the 21st century. We will focus on updating copyright law, supporting regional culture and promoting Czech culture abroad. We will place extra emphasis on improving the transparency and stability of public service media, because the independence of the media is a prerequisite for a resilient democracy. For the same reason, we will highlight important historical anniversaries and strengthen memory institutions focusing on totalitarian regimes.

Culture financing

  • We will aim to make the budget of the Ministry of Culture (excluding compensation to churches and religious societies) 1% of the State budget in this election period.
  • We will prepare an Act on Public Cultural Institutions by mid-2023 at the latest.
  • We will improve the support of culture in the regions, set up a clear system of support for regional, municipal and non-profit institutions as well as important cultural projects, including support for regional cultural infrastructure. We will support the cities or towns applying for the title of European Capital of Culture through consultations and sharing of international contacts.
  • We will promote a permanent higher tax advantage for patronage and sponsorship as a step towards functional multi-source financing of culture.

From contemporary culture to cultural heritage

  • We will comprehensively support contemporary culture, entrepreneurship in culture and create conditions for their development.
  • We will support the development of museums and galleries that take care of our tangible cultural heritage.
  • We will pay special attention to institutions that keep the history of the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century and their victims; therefore, we will support the activities of memory institutions. We will support key projects in this area, such as the Lety Memorial, the prison in Uherské Hradiště or the Red Tower of Death in Vykmanov (Ostrov).
  • We will support cultural and creative industries, including systematic and sustainable support for the film industry through incentives.
  • We will enforce the transformation of the Czech Film Fund into the Czech Fund of Audiovisual Media, including strategic support for the gaming industry.
  • We will support the development of libraries and their role as local cultural and community centres and as a key public service.
  • In response to the amended Building Act, we will prepare an analysis of the shortcomings of the current legislation on monuments. Subsequently, a technical and substantive amendment to the problematic parts of the act will be prepared, taking into account the urgency of individual changes and ensuring the sustainability of monument care.

Culture and education

  • In cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, we will link the offer of education in the field of culture and media literacy with the revision of the framework educational programmes.
  • We will look for ways to increase visual and reading literacy, which has a major impact on how our citizens can navigate the information-filled times of today. In an educated and cultural country, books and teaching aids must be considered essential products.
  • We will deepen the offer of cultural and artistic educational programmes and projects in the context of the ongoing revision of the framework educational plans through grant titles, contributory organisations and the inter-ministerial working group of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education.
  • We will commemorate and promote the most important historical anniversaries and personalities.

Copyright for the 21st century

  • We will adapt our copyright law for the 21st century, because the rapid development of technology brings with it new opportunities for the creation and dissemination of copyright works. We will ensure adequate protection of the intellectual property of authors, publishers, editors and producers, as well as respect for other human rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and the right of access to information, culture and education.
  • We will implement the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market in a sensitive manner, with an emphasis on users’ rights, so as to promote a variety of legal uses for copyright works and other protected content, whether through on-demand services or content sharing platforms, in schools, as well as in libraries, museums, galleries and other memory or research institutions, and at the same time to ensure that the creators are fairly rewarded for using their works.

Free and transparent public service media

  • We will focus on the sustainability of public service media funding, which is a basic condition for their independence.
  • We will involve the Senate in the system of electing the councils of the Czech Television and the Czech Radio. We will carry through the relevant amendments to legal regulations during 2022.
  • We will subject the management of public service media to control by the Supreme Audit Office, which will improve their transparency.

Foreign policy

Preamble

The Czech Republic’s foreign policy will be based on anchoring it position in the European Union and NATO and on good relations with all neighbouring states. The Czech Republic must be an active member of the European Union and NATO, defending the interests of its citizens. We will emphasise stable partnerships with democratic countries around the world, the protection of human rights and democracy, and the global promotion of Czech economic interests and European values.

We consider our membership in the European Union to be of crucial importance and benefit for the Czech Republic, and we are ready to successfully host the presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2022. Maintaining the free movement of people, services, goods and capital and the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality is essential for us in the European Union. We also want to base our active EU membership on traditionally good relations with our neighbours.

Foreign affairs

  • We will develop the closest possible friendly relationships at all levels with our neighbours and strategic partners within the EU.
  • Cooperation in the Visegrád Group will be part of our relations at all levels.
  • We will promote intensive Czech-German relations across the full spectrum of mutual cooperation and deepen our strategic dialogue.
  • We will promote the closest possible transatlantic link and develop a close relationship with the United States, both bilaterally and on the multilateral level.
  • We will continue to develop good relations with the UK, not only in the fields of economy and security, but in culture, science, education and others.
  • We will develop our traditional strategic partnerships with Israel, especially in the areas of security, science, research and innovation.
  • We will continue to deepen cooperation with democratic partners in the Indo-Pacific region (such as India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan and others).
  • We will review our relations with Russia and China.
  • We are committed to cooperation within the Three Seas Initiative.
  • We will develop a dialogue with the Holy See, take steps to negotiate a new contractual arrangement of our relations and work towards its ratification.
  • The promotion of democracy, human rights and civil society is the morally right thing, but it is also advantageous for our State. In the past, our human rights and transformation policy has managed to secure our place at the heart of European politics. We will renew the tradition of “Havel’s” foreign policy, including support for development and transformation cooperation.
  • By the end of 2023, we will submit to the Parliament of the Czech Republic for approval an act sanctioning gross violations of human rights (the Magnitsky Act).
  • We will pay attention to the interconnection of humanitarian, transformation, development and economic cooperation. We see development aid as an investment in supporting the growth of the economic level of developing countries and at the same time as an opportunity to support future follow-up projects of Czech companies.
  • The promotion of Czech economic interests and values around the world will be an integral part of foreign policy. We will aim our external economic relations at supporting the success of Czech brands, innovations, and unique solutions with an orientation on the foreign end customer. We will help Czech companies enter new markets.
  • We will make our diplomacy professional once again and modernise and streamline the functioning of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.
  • As part of the pandemic recovery, we will ensure that travel restrictions are lifted consistently. We will support the recovery of Czech foreign trade, scientific and cultural cooperation and education in areas affected by pandemic-related restrictions.

European affairs

Preamble

We consider our membership in the European Union to be of crucial importance and benefit for the Czech Republic. We are ready to successfully host the presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2022 and return the Czech Republic its reputation of a reliable and respected partner.  We strive for a democratic, unbureaucratic, socially just and trade-open EU that emphasises respect for civil liberties. We will actively seek to increase integration towards the completion of the single internal market, with an emphasis on the free movement of people, services, goods, capital and data, the effective protection of external borders and a strong transatlantic link. For these long-term priorities, we will actively seek support from EU Member States with similar interests.

Coordination of European policies

  • We will ensure the systematic preparation of the Czech position on individual proposals at the European level. We will prepare high-quality analyses of the expected impacts on the Czech Republic, which will facilitate us in promoting our positions in the EU and explaining them to the Czech public. To this end, we will put in place binding regulatory impact assessment procedures in accordance with customary international methodologies, in particular with regard to social affairs, competitiveness, environment and external security.
  • We will prepare the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU in a professional and responsible manner and we will make sure that any benefits for the Czech Republic will be long-lasting. We will also involve representatives of social partners in the preparations.
  • We will support the deepening of the single internal market, including wider opportunities for employment, funding student mobility, free travel across Europe, and we will pay special attention to consumer protection. We will also focus on the convergence of living standards in all regions, which is crucial for the functioning of the internal market.
  • As part of the regular revision of the current EU multi-annual budgetary framework, we will actively seek to secure sufficient resources, in particular in the areas of security and defence, environmental protection, digitisation and post-pandemic economic recovery.
  • We will improve the ability to apply for funding from centrally managed EU programmes, especially in science, research and technological innovation. We will actively support the Czech Republic’s involvement in Important Projects of Common European interest (IPCEI). In doing so, we strive to strengthen our competitiveness in Europe and the world and support the innovation ecosystem.
  • We will support the effective use of European funds in the Czech Republic. We will use the money from the Structural and Cohesion Funds for the period 2021–2027 to build key infrastructure, and we will pay special attention to improving cohesion.
  • In the area of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, we will promote strong transatlantic relations, the EU expansion process to the Western Balkans and we will play an active role in the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy, in particular the Eastern Partnership. We will also support the Union’s engagement in the Mediterranean and with the Sahel countries.
  • We will support an EU reform that prioritises the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality and secures the powers of the Member States so as not to increase the democratic deficit.
  • We will promote an approach to migration without mandatory quotas and the prevention of illegal migration in the place of origin and in the countries with migration routes.
  • We will improve the mechanisms for informing Czech citizens about affairs of the European Union and lead an open dialogue with them about the Czech Republic’s long-term priorities in the EU and the future of the EU as a whole.
  • We will create a system of support for the professional employment of Czech citizens in EU institutions, bodies and agencies so that when the new institutional framework will be created, Czechs will be more significantly represented in key positions.
  • We will support the strategic partnership with France, especially with regard to joint cooperation within the presidency trio.
  • Within our Presidency of the Council of the EU, we will take over the auspices of the annual international conference of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience.

Defence

Preamble

Defending the country is the basic role of the State. Without security there is no stability and without stability there is no prosperity. Given the deterioration of the security environment, investment in the defence of our country is necessary. The defence of the Czech Republic is based on its NATO membership. We will work to ensure that our country has a strong army for the collective defence of its territory and its national interests. We must be a valid and respected ally within the North Atlantic Alliance who fulfils its obligations, especially in the area of defence financing and building of military capability. We will work to ensure that NATO continues to maintain, in addition to its military capacity, the political cohesion and ability to unite the West against external threats. We will further develop and strengthen the transatlantic link. The European Union’s ambitions in the field of defence must not be in competition with the North Atlantic Alliance, but rather in accord.

We will take care not only of the development and modernisation of Czech armed forces, but also of the domestic defence and security industry. We will promote greater investment in research and development and the preparedness of our population for crisis situations. We will not allow non-democratic states access to key Czech infrastructure.

Modern, operational and stable army

  • We will increase the country’s spending on defence in line with our NATO commitments to reach 2% of GDP in the 2025 budget. We will push for the legislative enshrinement of this level of defence spending as a minimum.
  • By the end of 2022, we will present a legislative proposal for a system of long-term stable and effective financing of the army and its modernisation in the form of a “defence fund”.
  • We will streamline the acquisition process. Key modernisation projects will be launched or completed.
  • By 2023, we will update strategic documents (e.g. the Defence Strategy of the Czech Republic, the Concept of the Czech Armed Forces Development 2030 and others).
  • By 2023, we will present an amendment to the Public Procurement Act that will take into account the specifics of defence-related acquisitions.
  • We will strengthen funding for defence and security science and research projects and invest in modern technologies in areas such as cyber defence and autonomous weapons systems (such as robotics and artificial intelligence).
  • We will support the involvement of the Czech defence industry in projects financed from the European Defence Fund and the NATO Innovation Fund.
  • We will strive to ensure quality conditions for our soldiers and the performance of their service and to meet recruitment goals.
  • By the end of 2022, we will present a constitutional amendment that would allow the government to make faster decisions on the dispatch of troops, for example, for the purpose of liberating Czech citizens or for foreign operations within NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. 
  • By mid-2022, we will present a draft mandate for the dispatch of armed forces to foreign missions and operations for the years 2023 and 2024. Deployment of our army outside the Czech Republic will be in accordance with our defined foreign policy interests. The priorities are to ensure collective defence and stability on the eastern and southern borders of the North Atlantic Alliance, the fight against terrorism and tackling migration in the countries of its origin (for example, sub-Saharan Africa).

A prepared State

  • We will focus on strengthening the resilience of the State and society to hybrid threats and deepen the cooperation with our allies in this area.
  • By 2023, we will present legislative proposals in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, crisis preparedness and management, so that the domestic security and defence industry can be more closely involved in crisis preparation. We will also strengthen its resilience using other tools, such as crisis management exercises between the State and the private sector.
  • From 2022, we will create the conditions for building a secure and effective communication platform that will safely connect the State administration and critical infrastructure. This platform will offer a secure, standardised and auditable solution that takes into account the security and defence of cyberspace, including supply chain security.
  • We will support the development of domestic production capacities and know-how for the supply of equipment, armaments and services for the armed and security forces of the Czech Republic. We will require active involvement of Czech industry in acquisitions from abroad that will correspond to our capabilities. We will amend the legislation to increase support for the export of products and services of the Czech security and defence industry, including assistance with guarantees, financing and government-to-government deals.

Prepared citizens

  • We will further increase the attractiveness of the Active Reserve of Czech Armed Forces. By 2023, we will evaluate the existing system and propose adequate changes. We will support the service of students in the Active Reserve and the transition of members of the Active Reserve to the professional armed forces.
  • We will promote systematic preparation of citizens for crisis situations, especially targeting the young generation.
  • We will preserve the rights of legal arms holders. By mid-2023, the government will approve regulations to comply with the Act on the Handling of Arms in Certain Cases Affecting the Internal Order or Security of the Czech Republic, which envisages the creation of a shooting training system to perform tasks in ensuring the defence of the Czech Republic.
  • We will ensure dignified help and support for both World War II and modern veterans.
  • We will take proper care of memorials and war graves in our territory and abroad.
  • Maintaining and building military traditions and commemorating important heroes and their deeds is of particular importance for the citizens’ awareness about the importance of defending one’s homeland and for the development of a national sentiment. Therefore, we will take good care of the nation’s memory and commemorate important milestones and traditions with due respect.

Internal security and public administration

Preamble

The Ministry of the Interior will not only be a ministry of security, but also of an efficient, modern and professional public administration.

Public administration must be available both in the territory and through digital services. Territorial self-government also forms an important part of public administration. It is necessary to ensure the conditions for its proper performance and to protect self-government from unjustified or disproportionate effects of new legal regulations.

We will continue increasing the availability and clarity of sources of law.

Elections

  • We will introduce postal voting for Czechs abroad. We will make it easier for voters to obtain voter identification and modernise election administration.

Public administration

  • Based on a “stocktaking” of all State agendas by the end of 2022, we will present specific plans to reduce the number of civil service positions. We will eliminate unnecessary official tasks and make the necessary services more efficient.
  • We will amend the Civil Service Act so that the authorities will operate more efficiently, be open and improve their competence. We will evaluate and simplify the structure of State administration. It will be possible to admit candidates from outside the civil service even in the first rounds of selection procedures for senior positions. The State will lead by example in the use of flexible and part-time jobs.
  • We will revise pay grades. We will make such changes to the pay grades so that the public administration will be able to employ top experts based on the situation on the labour market (lawyers, IT specialists, urban planners, etc.).
  • We will introduce measurements of the performance and efficiency of State (public) services using benchmarking similar to private companies (scope of the agenda, costs of performing the agenda, institutional backing, level of digitisation).
  • We will maintain a mixed model of public administration – the delegated powers will remain with local self-governments (municipalities and regions) with an adequate contribution to the performance of State administration.
  • We will clarify and simplify the obligations of citizens and entrepreneurs towards the State in cooperation with professional and business organisations through a shared platform. We will eliminate unnecessary or duplicate obligations in cooperation with representatives of the commercial and non-profit sectors. We will support the creation of a platform to increase the intelligibility and clarity of the legal order.
  • We will unify the fee and contribution obligations of citizens and entrepreneurs. It will be possible to make payments at a single collection point.
  • We will unify and coordinate the activities of inspection bodies and reduce the control-related burden on municipalities and regions. We will eliminate duplicate checks. We will ensure the exchange of knowledge between inspection bodies.
  • All payments to the public administration, including stamps, will be payable via payment cards or other cashless means.
  • We will simplify public procurement, increase its transparency, issue methodological guidelines for procurement for individual types of commodities and services (construction contracts, ICT contracts, legal services, economic advice, consultations, audits, ...) so that contracting authorities can better balance requirements for both price, quality and other non-financial criteria. We will improve our expertise in awarding strategic contracts.
  • We will improve preparation, control and speed up the process of reviewing selection procedures and public procurement. We will promote preliminary market consultations as an important part of public procurement.
  • The public administration will include a strong central authority with the necessary competence in the field of ICT, which will have a strong mandate vis-à-vis all organisational units of the public administration, including its established and contributory organisations. It will be equipped with sufficient methodological, budgetary, legislative and control powers to be able to promote effective, secure and long-term sustainable digitisation of public administration across public administration.

Security

  • By the end of 2022, we will establish the “National Security Adviser” at the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic as the supra-ministerial coordinator for hybrid threats, disinformation and other serious supra-ministerial security issues. Therefore, the Office of the Government will have a platform for coordination and communication between security policy entities to ensure closer cooperation between intelligence and security forces and effective action against disinformation and hybrid threats.
  • We will introduce rules for more transparent functioning of media: listing of publishers, owners, major sponsors and publishing of financial statements.
  • We will adapt to the development of the security environment and promote a more professional approach to defence in the information space. Defence against disinformation must be fast and scalable. Following examples from abroad, we will prepare legislative and non-legislative measures that will allow us to better defend against harmful disinformation without compromising freedom of expression.
  • By the end of 2023, we will prepare a revision of crisis management and critical infrastructure legislation and, if necessary, we will also amend the Act on Establishing Ministries and Other Institutions of Central Government of the Czech Republic. We will set up effective crisis management consisting of a revision of the standard plans for managing crisis situations, analysis of current security threats, preparation for crisis situations (pandemics, floods, droughts, blackouts, industrial accidents, cyber-attacks, soft targets, etc.) and a clear improvement of the functioning and activities of crisis bodies, especially the Central Crisis Staff.
  • We will introduce systematic preparation of citizens and associations for crisis situations (courses for secondary education students and voluntary courses for the public).
  • We will create a new Security Strategy for the Czech Republic, which will be based on the results of the newly conducted National Security Audit, the new NATO Strategic Concept and the Strategic Compass for the EU. The Security Strategy will take into account the new security threats and better define the responsibilities of the various components of the system, including the role of the National Security Adviser.
  • We will maintain our stable system of intelligence services and ensure standard conditions for their activities. We will prepare modern legislation for each of the intelligence services (Security Information Service, Foreign Intelligence Service and Military Intelligence), which will be adequate for the current role of intelligence services and the demands put on them by the security situation and threats of the 2020s. We will comply with the law regarding the establishment of the Independent Intelligence Inspection Authority.
  • By the end of 2022, we will develop strategic materials that will help the development and long-term concept of the security forces; with effect from 2024, we will amend the Act on the Service of Members of Security Forces and the Act on the Inspectorate General of the Security Forces of the Czech Republic. We will eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy.
  • We will ensure quality legislation for the purchases and acquisitions of security forces and the integrated rescue system with an emphasis on supporting domestic industry, science and research. By mid-2022, we will develop and approve the Fire Rescue Service Strategy.
  • We will look for ways to improve the existing integrated rescue system (e.g. by integrating the Mountain Rescue Service, other rescue organisations and State Material Reserves).
  • We will support recruitment incentive programmes for security forces. We will strive to maintain the competitiveness of the integrated rescue system on the labour market. We will provide social security for new, existing and outgoing employees of security forces.
  • We will continue contributing to the improvement of the material equipment of volunteer fire departments, including through the transfer of used equipment from the Fire Rescue Service.
  • By the end of 2023, as part of the reform of crisis legislation, we will support quality and functional cooperation between components of the Integrated Rescue System and the municipal police, focusing on its specific position as a self-government body.
  • We will preserve the rights of legal arms holders.
  • We will create a sufficient financial and organisational framework for the prevention of crime and socio-pathological phenomena by adopting in 2022 a new Strategy for Crime Prevention in the Czech Republic for the years 2022–2027.
  • We will reduce unnecessary bureaucracy for the Police of the Czech Republic (e.g. by recording interventions and simplifying the file service).
  • Through a new modern act, we will precisely define the functioning of private security agencies, similarly to most EU countries, by the end of 2023.
  • We will actively engage in further negotiations on the reform of European migration policy, rejecting the resolution of migration crises through a mandatory quotas.
  • In cooperation with the EU and its Member States, we will increase support for migration camps outside the EU as well as for countries on major routes affected by increased migratory pressures through strengthening foreign aid programmes of the Ministry of the Interior (Medevac) and by preparing and implementing projects from the AMIF (Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund).
  • By implementing targeted migration programmes, we will respond flexibly to the current situation on the labour market or the needs and interests of the Czech Republic, where the volume and structure of legal migration will be determined with regard to the integration capacities of our country.
  • By carrying through new and clearer legal regulation of the stay of foreigners in the Czech Republic and by digitising the residence agenda, we will reduce the administrative burden and streamline and simplify the residence procedure from 2025 onwards.

Digitisation

Preamble

Unification and digitisation of State processes mark the path to a friendlier, more efficient and cheaper State administration. We will make our State work effectively through modern technologies. 

Digitisation ensures a more convenient contact between citizens and the State, and the automation of processes will lead to a more effective operation of the State as a whole. There will continue to be a paper-based option for seniors and persons with special needs.

Digital services

  • We will finish the implementation of the Act on the Right to Digital Services, in particular we will consistently implement the catalogue of public administration services and the plan for their gradual digitisation by 1 February 2025 at the latest. We will consistently enforce that data are sent between authorities, not the citizen. Once a citizen of provides data to the State, the State may not request that data again. For this reason, we will develop and steadily finance centrally shared information systems, in particular the basic registers project.
  • We will create a central coordination team and transformation teams supporting the digital transformation of individual central offices in 2022.
  • We will increase the expertise and personnel capacities of central offices for the implementation of digital process transformation, better public procurement and their subsequent project management. We will assign sufficient powers and resources to all transformation teams to manage and implement the digital transformation.
  • As soon as possible, at the latest in 2023, we will abolish the obligation to carry ID cards and documents on one’s person, if the State can verify them otherwise (creation of the “eDokladovka” mobile identity app), compatible with EU electronic documents.
  • We will ensure that a system is put in place as soon as possible, which will inform citizens in good time about the expiry of all their ID cards, certificates, decisions and other documents.
  • We will speed up the open data process and the updating of open data at all public administration offices. Strategic and other materials procured or created by the State that are not subject to secrecy (security and defence of the State) will be available to other public administration bodies and, to the widest extent possible, to the public.
  • We will open the data to the commercial and non-profit sectors and invite them to participate in the faster development of digital services for the public administration and the private sector.
  • We will ensure a that public administration portals follow a user-friendly uniform standard. In cooperation with representatives of business organisations, we will supplement the family of public administration portals with a free Entrepreneur’s Portal, which will mediate both communication with the public administration and communication between entrepreneurs. Its operation would be entrusted to business organisations.
  • We will expand the functions of Czech POINT and, to the same extent, set up a telephone information and transaction hotline with an assistant. These will become alternative friendly universal registries for anyone who prefers not to communicate with the State via the Internet.
  • We will enforce a unified user and programme (API) interface for communication with the State. All online services will be user-friendly and provide similar and intuitive user experience. Services will be provided in open formats. This will support the participation of the commercial and non-profit sectors in the provision of digital services for citizens and entrepreneurs with the possibility of publishing such services in the family of public administration portals while adhering to security and technological standards.
  • We will carry through a modern unified standard for electronic filing services and “digital” archiving for the longevity of digital documents.
  • We will create a single digital marketplace (Digital Marketplace – eGov), where public authorities will be able to demand and purchase ICT commodity services to provide State digital services. (For example in the form of an e-shop of products and services like the one in Austria.)
  • We will create a mobile application for the Citizen’s Portal, which will gradually simplify communication with the State and the handling of routine operations for citizens and companies.
  • We will make sharing data from the Basic Registers possible based on the citizen’s consent.
  • We will create appropriate conditions for the wider use of digital acts, both in communication with the State and in the private sector, such as for the conclusion of multilateral contracts over the Internet.

Transparency

  • We will speed up the open data process and the updating of open data at all public administration offices. Strategic and other materials procured or created by the State that are not subject to secrecy (security and defence of the State) will be available to other public administration bodies and, to the widest extent possible, to the public.
  • We will open the data to the commercial and non-profit sectors and invite them to participate in the faster development of digital services for the public administration and the private sector.
  • We will introduce laws to improve the transparency of public administration and prevent corruption. This will mainly be achieved through a unified public record of subsidies and clickable budgets with information up to the level of invoices; the principles of trade secrets will be maintained.

Cybersecurity

  • We will focus on strengthening our cyber security in both the public and private sectors. We will create an effective platform for permanent cooperation between public administration and the private sector on the protection of the common cyberspace.
  • We will increase the importance and improve the coordination of information and cyber security in the security policy of the State (National Cyber and Information Security Agency, Ministry of the Interior, Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, intelligence services) while maintaining the right to privacy and individual freedom.
  • We will work with the EU, NATO and other international partners to keep the Internet open and secure.
  • We co-operate with the EU in solving algorithmically controlled platforms and social networks.
  • In the fight against hybrid threats, we will promote a comprehensive solution involving all actors, including the responsible authorities.
  • Our critical infrastructure will rely on secure, open and auditable technologies accessible to the expert public for the search for security holes (e.g. using a “bug bounty”). The preservation of licencing rights, privacy rights and free market rules is a matter of course.
  • To implement modern ICT services, it is necessary to facilitate the sharing of experts, knowledge and experience between public administration bodies (establishment of a national competence centre or multi-ministerial competence centres). We will precisely and transparently define the scope of activities of competence centres and State-owned enterprises and organisations that provide ICT services in a way that preserves competition.
  • We will implement the eGovernment Cloud concept in the State and commercial sectors and adopt more flexible rules for the purchase of cloud services in accordance with EU standards. We will ensure that citizens’ personal data are stored in secure data centres in the Czech Republic or in EU countries.

Connectivity and network development

  • We will create adequate conditions for ensuring a stable, fast and affordable internet connection based on the market offer of commercial providers. We will cover areas with insufficient market supply with the help of targeted support of providers or customers. We will adjust the conditions for the storage and construction of electronic communications networks in our territory so as to enable the establishment of high-capacity, especially optical networks in remote, rural areas.
  • We will prepare legislation that will introduce an obligation for entities who build transport and technical infrastructure networks, so that their construction includes cable tubes or ducts for high-capacity, especially optical networks.
  • We will create adequate conditions for all major train corridors to have high-quality coverage by mobile voice and internet services, both inside trains and in tunnels.
  • We will work to launch a digital map of public administration and regional technical maps, which will have date available on transport and technical infrastructure networks in the area.
  • We will create adequate conditions for obtaining financial resources for the acquisition of additional data and their updating; we will help small municipalities in fulfilling this obligation. We will ensure sharing between the public and private sectors. We will create conditions for increasing the efficiency of construction coordination on the basis of a digital technical map and data on constructions and construction plans kept therein.
  • We will present a draft Act on Building Information Modelling (BIM), which will enable the use and sharing of data for the preparation of buildings, their permitting and use during their lifetime (digital twins).
  • We will support digital and information literacy education and training programmes for all generations based on their needs and current knowledge and skills.
  • We will focus on VENDOR LOCK-IN. We will analyse existing cases, suggest a way to end them and prevent future VENDOR LOCK-IN. The software or parts thereof made to order will be open source (the source code will be usable by other public administration entities while preserving intellectual property rights and protection).

Regional and local development

Preamble

The growing differences between Czech regions represent a major challenge to our whole society. The place where a citizen lives must not fundamentally affect that person’s quality of education, access to healthcare, transport services and digital connectivity. We will prevent the further expansion of the regional gap and address the issues leading to the depopulation of the countryside and the border area. We will create adequate conditions for successful and meaningful use of European funds; during our EU Presidency, we will actively promote cohesion policy as an effective tool for the development of regions in the Czech Republic and throughout Europe.

The government will address the availability of housing for citizens in the areas of owner-occupied and rental housing, including social housing. The key focus at the moment is the fundamental acceleration of building permit proceedings in cooperation with local governments while maintaining the protection of other interests.

Regional development

  • When planning the State’s strategic investments, we will always take into account the level of development and the needs of the regions, so as to reduce regional inequalities. Through the government’s Regional Policy Committee, we will ensure effective coordination across all ministries and improve government cooperation with regions and municipalities.
  • We will successfully finish drawing the EU funds from the 2014–2020 programming period and ensure a smooth start of drawing from the 2021–2027 period. We will make effective use of the Partnership Agreement funds and the National Recovery Plan to kick-start strategic regional investments. Using the Just Transition Mechanism and other instruments, we will support structurally disadvantaged regions in their transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • We will maintain the current financing of municipalities and change the budgetary allocation of taxes for the regions in agreement with the Association of Regions of the Czech Republic and through an increase in the total allocation. We will involve the National Development Bank more closely in the financial security of local projects. We will support project preparation and absorption capacity in municipalities and regions.
  • We envisage a modern, competitive countryside that has overcome the period of intensive agriculture and develops local crafts and family farms. It is necessary to stop the outflow of people from the countryside, i.e. to provide such infrastructure and services that make living and working there worth it. In particular, we will support access to health care and easier commuting to work and school; in cooperation with operators, we will also improve rural coverage with high-speed internet.
  • Based on thorough work with the data, we will set a recommended level of facilities for various types of municipalities (e.g. for education, medical and social care, public transport and other mobility, high-speed internet, municipal services, etc.). This will allow us to target the support on actual issues. We will link the recommended level with adequate financing.
  • To improve living conditions and services in cities, towns and municipalities, we will make full use of the technological revolution and innovation (e.g. according to the Smart Cities concept).
  • We will strengthen functional cooperation at the level of metropolitan areas and conurbations through Integrated Territorial Investments.
  • We will improve the functioning of small municipalities (improving inter-municipal cooperation, LEADER/CLLD method, Local Agendas 21, etc.). We will not merge municipalities, rather connect them on a voluntary basis.
  • We will analyse the transfer of selected central offices to the regions.
  • We will develop cross-border cooperation. In areas with poorer access to health care, we will allow border residents to use hospitals on both sides of the border. We will enable emergency medical services to intervene across borders on the principle of reciprocity. We will create adequate conditions for transport and crisis management (e.g. during floods). As part of cross-border European programmes, we will simplify controls and their reporting.

Housing, the Building Act and spatial planning

  • We support the development of all types of housing (owner-occupied, rented and co-operative) so that people can find the most suitable housing for their phase in life and specific situation.
  • During the first two years of the election period, we will prepare an Act on Housing Support, which will provide municipalities with a set of optional tools that will enable them to systematically address the housing situation of the population. This act will lay down the method and rules of financing.
  • We will prepare new financial instruments for the construction of affordable rented dwellings in the form of a loan from the EIB and a State guarantee for loans. We will set construction conditions so that at the end of the election period, 10 000 new rented flats can be built each year.
  • In the first half of 2022, we will present an amendment to the new Building Act to ensure fast, transparent, digital and citizen-friendly building permit proceedings through the Builder’s Portal. We will prevent the collapse of building permit proceedings in the Czech Republic, which would be the result of the destruction of the mixed model of public administration. In cooperation with local governments and regions (Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic, Association of Local Self-Governments of the Czech Republic and Association of Regions of the Czech Republic), we will change the Building Act and maintain building authorities at the local level, where they make decisions with proper knowledge of the local environment.  A specialised building authority for strategic and larger line constructions will be launched.
  • Building permit proceedings will be predictable, adapted to different types of construction and balancing public and private interests. The builder will only deal with one office and that office will obtain additional necessary documents itself. We will introduce the Single Environmental Permit. We will simplify the conditions for simple constructions.
  • For new constructions, local governments and investors will be able to agree on transparent and predictable rules. We will support the use of planning contracts. We stand against the NIMBY effect, but we will support public involvement and familiarisation of the public with investor intentions without delaying the proceedings.
  • Instead of centralisation, we will strengthen the methodological support of building authorities so that a clear interpretation of the Building Act and spatial planning documentation is available.
  • We will strengthen the powers of local governments in the field of spatial planning. We will still allow larger cities to create their own building regulations.
  • Spatial planning will keep civic amenities in focus so that functional and friendly cities are created, not dead residential zones and heat islands.
  • We will support architectural competitions and building culture. We will offer quality projects of typical apartment buildings for municipalities, towns and cities.
  • In construction, we will support the use of local, modern and environmentally friendly technologies and recycled materials.
  • In response to the amendment to the Building Act, we will implement a project to digitise building permit proceedings and spatial planning during the election period. Along with digitisation, we are redefining the catalogue of individual functional areas within the framework of spatial planning so that it meets the needs of cities, towns and municipalities of different sizes.
  • We will transfer more money for housing to the State Investment Support Fund, including the preparation of project documentation, acquisition of real estate and the regeneration of brownfields for housing purposes, including the reconstruction of neglected housing stock. We will support the purchase and eventual demolition of dilapidated buildings in built-up areas of cities, towns and municipalities, provided that new housing is created in their stead.
  • During the first half of the election period, we will start work on creating a price map for calculating the usual rent at the level of municipalities with extended powers. We will continue to support areas at risk of social exclusion.
  • We will release suitable land held by the State and transfer it to the municipalities for the purpose of building flats and related infrastructure.
  • We will link the public and private financial sectors and local governments to create appropriate programmes for favourable first home mortgages (reduction of mandatory deductibles, direct government assistance with co-payments, bonus for each child born) and other support programmes, including housing support for the elderly or persons with social or medical disadvantages. We will introduce new standards for affordable start-up and social housing. We will ensure that our senior citizens and persons with disabilities can choose between living in a regular household and community housing with accessible services.
  • Following the consolidation of public finances, we will reduce VAT on the construction or renovation of flats and houses.
  • In 2023 at the latest, we will reduce the depreciation period to 20 years in order to motivate investors to build rented housing. We will also reduce the depreciation period for other than residential buildings in the case of investments with minimal consumption (photovoltaic panels on the roof, utilisation of rainwater, heat pump for heating).
  • We will lay down clear rules for shared accommodation, which will distinguish the occasional rental of a room or one’s own apartment from an entrepreneurship intent; all entrepreneurs must act honestly and in accordance with the rules of the accommodation business. The rules of shared economy will be enforceable for both providers and platforms operating in our country.
  • We will bring back activities in international agreements that seek to make housing and living in cities sustainable, such as the New Urban Agenda (UN) or the Urban Agenda for the EU.

Public procurement

  • We will present an amendment to the Public Procurement Act.
  • We will prepare a reform of the Office for the Protection of Competition and strengthen its methodological role so that it is the guarantor of fair competition enabling the development of investments for contracting authorities, including municipalities and regions.
  • We will also expand methodological support for public procurement (e.g. examples of good practice) to make it easier to take into account quality, overall benefits for the society and other non-financial criteria. We will adjust the system to reward short supply chains, sustainable development principles and regional suppliers.
  • By 2024, we will launch an e-shop that offer centrally procured products for authorities with minimal administration.

Tourism

  • We will use the considerable potential of Czech tourism for business, employment and regional development. The Czech Republic has all the prerequisites to be a top European destination.
  • By the end of 2023, we will introduce the Tourism Act. We will improve coordination between ministries, local governments and professional organisations.
  • We will support a restart of the entire industry (including the revival of spas) through an effective campaign to support inbound and domestic tourism.
  • We will digitise the administration in the field of tourism, for example with the e-Turista system (from 2024), which will reduce the administrative burden on businesses and municipalities and streamline the collection of accommodation fees.

Transport

Preamble

One of the State’s key tasks is to complete the missing transport infrastructure and ensure its operation. Safe and functional transport connections are one of the basic conditions for the further development of our country and its regions. We will also focus on further improving public transport, which must be affordable, easily accessible and offer a convenient alternative to individual means of transport.

We will create a plan for investments in transport, ensure a stable budget for the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure and increase control over the efficiency of funds spent on transport construction.

We are also aware that the development of transport is also based on the use of modern technologies, intelligent transport systems and the digitisation of transport agendas, which will lead to the overall streamlining and de-bureaucratisation of public administration.

Infrastructure

Motorways and 1st class roads

  • We will focus primarily on continued construction of the Prague D0 ring road, the construction of other sections of the D35 motorway and the completion of the D1 motorway between Říkovice and Přerov. By 2025, we will expand the motorway network by up to 200 kilometres.
  • By the end of 2025, we commission the České Budějovice bypass and other sections of the D3; the D4, D6, D49 and D55 motorways will be extended. We will complete the D48 motorway, including the Frýdek-Místek bypass; we will put into operation three sections of the D55 motorway with a total length of 21.4 km and finalise other parts of the Great Ring Road in Brno on I/42. The border section of the D11 will be finished. Preparations for the extension of the D52 motorway, the D43 motorway and the Central Bohemian part of the D3 motorway will also progress. We will work to increase the capacity of selected 1st class roads where the traffic intensity will not require a motorway in the future; we will build bypasses of municipalities, towns and cities suffering from transit traffic.
  • We will significantly increase the number and capacity of rest areas and parking areas on motorways and 1st class roads for mandatory truck driver breaks in the coming years so that the number of such spots exceeds 4.5 thousand.
  • We will evaluate the experience with public-private partnership on the D4 motorway and consider the use of this tool in other transport infrastructure projects.

Rail

  • The construction of high-speed railway lines is a government priority. We will enshrine the construction high-speed line in law.
  • In addition to the main branches of the high-speed lines, a modern fast connection of regional towns will also be an important part of the overall railway infrastructure development concept.  The will be the Prague – Pilsen – Germany, Prague – Liberec, Prague – Benešov – České Budějovice – Austria, Brno – Slovakia and Brno – Přerov connections, and a branch line from the Dresden high-speed line to Most.
  • We will significantly progress with the preparation of the key construction of the first parts of the high-speed lines from Prague to Dresden, from Prague to Brno, from Brno to Ostrava and from Brno to Vienna.
  • Our goal is to modernise 290 kilometres of railway lines, complete the reconstruction of railway junctions in Pilsen and Pardubice and launch the reconstruction of the Česká Třebová junction and the removal of bottlenecks by increasing the capacity of the relevant lines and stations in the Prague railway junction. Work on railway corridors III and IV and on the preparation of the Brno railway junction will also progress significantly.
  • We will accelerate the preparation and implementation of the construction of a railway connection from the Prague city centre to Vaclav Havel Airport Prague.
  • Increased capacity of the railway infrastructure will allow a gradual shift of part of freight transport from congested roads to railways.
  • We will modernise the secondary and regional railway lines in logical sections to the maximum possible speed and throughput and in close cooperation with local governments. Unused train stations will be repaired if they can be used for State services or offered to regions, cities, towns and municipalities for further use. We will support programmes for the construction of multimodal transhipment points, the renewal of operations and the electrification of railway sidings with connections to industrial zones (including the modernisation of classification yards and support for the system of individual consignment transport).
  • We will simplify and speed up the electrification of Czech railways, including the unification of the supply system, and we will also prepare legislative support.

Waterways

  • We will continue to develop inland waterway transport and the recreational use of waterways.
  • We will start negotiations with Germany on the exchange of the Czech port area in Hamburg.
  • We will stop work on the Danube-Oder-Elbe water corridor project. We will lift the current territorial protection in places where planning of future water works will not be practical. On the contrary, we will support the development of environmentally friendly water transport on existing courses.

Aviation

  • We will actively support the revitalisation of passenger and freight air transport. The construction of a parallel runway at Vaclav Havel Airport Prague will play a key role for future development.
  • We will achieve safe integration of drone operation in Czech airspace.

Public transport

  • Using new public service contracts and financial support, we will enable faster renewal of railway vehicles to make traveling on Czech railways safer and more comfortable.
  • We will gradually expand the single ticket instrument (OneTicket) in cooperation with regions and cities by individual integrated transport systems. At the same time, we will review the fare discounts provided by the State by 30 June 2022.
  • In accordance with the European 4th Railway Package, we will open up the railway market as widely as possible. After 2023, the State will conclude public service contracts on the railway mainly through tender procedures.
  • We will coordinate with the regions the further development of regional lines and the preparation of tender procedures for fast train and passenger train connections on regional lines.
  • We will focus on the systematic increase in the number of passengers in public transport.

Security

  • We will pursue the implementation of the BESIP Strategy 2021–2030 and carry through the updating of the sanction system in the amendment to the Road Traffic Act. Our aim is to punish the most dangerous infractions more effectively, increase road safety and reduce penalties for trivial infractions.
  • We will support the further development of intelligent transport systems, including co-operative systems, to increase the safety and fluidity of traffic, improve the awareness of road users and achieve more optimal use of the infrastructure capacity and of vehicles with higher degrees of automation.
  • On new sections of motorways equipped with modern telematics, it will be possible to increase the permitted speed up to 150 km/h with good visibility and appropriate traffic.
  • By 2025, the railway administration will modernise more than 500 level crossings of railways with roads, focusing on the most dangerous crossings.
  • We will focus on greater safety on railways; railway traffic supervision will be improved and the schedule for equipping 4 800 kilometres of lines with ETCS and other safety systems will be updated.
  • We will intensify the removal of illegal billboards on motorways.

Legislation, administration and digitisation of transport

  • By the end of 2023, we will ensure the transformation of the Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic into a State enterprise called Motorways and Roads Administration, which will be more efficient in the preparation, implementation and maintenance of buildings.
  • At the same time, we will introduce evaluation of plans, fulfilled objectives and efficiency in preparation and implementation of constructions and improvement of their performance for other investment organisations of the Ministry of Transport (Railway Administration, Directorate of the Czech Waterways).
  • We will compare the results of investment organisations with comparable organisations in Western Europe.
  • By 2025, we will complete the digitisation of the transport sector so that citizens will be able to use online services related to transport agendas, such as the issue and exchange of driving licences or the registration of changes in the register of road vehicles.
  • We will make timetables available in a way that allows remote access of the public; they will be available as open and machine-readable data files.
  • We will use the participation of the Czech Republic in the EU Space Programme and Prague’s positions as the seat of the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) for greater involvement of Czech companies and start-ups.
  • We will support the digitisation and automation of the transport sector, making maximum use of new technologies. By implementing smart transport systems, we will increase the efficiency and safety of transport. We will also support transport research and innovation.

Transport strategy

  • In response to the completion of the Operational Programme Transport II, we will evaluate the Transport Sector Strategies and prepare their update by 30 June 2023, which will include a binding medium- and long-term plan of transport infrastructure construction priorities.
  • In cooperation with the regions, we will review the extension of tolls to other sections of roads to make it unfavourable for freight transport to bypass the tolled sections.
  • When awarding and subsequently preparing transport construction projects, we will look not only for the lowest price and life cycle costs, but also for quality and architectural and urban value. We will ensure transparent, fair and open selection procedures to increase the number of suppliers for the Ministry of Transport.
  • We will streamline and expand the dynamic weighing system for trucks while maintaining enforceability for foreign carriers. Conditions will be created for the relevant municipalities to deal with such infractions.
  • We will ensure a level playing field for Czech and foreign carriers.
  • We will support the construction of rail connections also for light rail vehicles in urban conurbations. We will include in the relevant strategic documents the necessary development of urban public transport with emphasis on the related necessary infrastructure: Park&Ride and Bike&Ride parking spaces at railway stations, a significant increase in the number of charging and filling stations using European funds.
  • We will provide at least CZK 6 billion per year from the State budget to finance class II and III roads from 2023.
  • We will plan and coordinate maintenance and modernisation of roads and railways so that there is always a meaningful detour route, including routes for alternative bus transport. The tool for better coordination of constructions will be a modern application using a digital technical map.
  • Our view of transport as a whole and the solution of modern transport systems will always include bicycle transport and other emission-free forms of transport. Investments in new transport infrastructure and reconstruction of the existing infrastructure will take into account the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. The construction of European and supra-regional cycling path deserves our attention and support.

Agriculture

Preamble

We will more effectively support small, medium, start-up and organic farmers, in particular with the help of European funds. We will review the Czech Republic’s position on the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. We will pay increased attention to the protection of soil against its degradation and occupation in order to support biodiversity and water retention in the landscape. The government will focus on methods to introduce precision agriculture, integrated production, reducing the use of fertilisers and pesticides, and increasing the use of organic fertilisers in agriculture. Our goal will be to increase the efficiency and contribution of research and the dissemination of innovation for the needs of primary agricultural production. We will continue to improve the quality of agricultural education with a view to modernising and robotising the sector.

We will focus on supporting the shortening of sales chains with regard to quality and regional production. Production of selected commodities will be supported to ensure adequate food security. We will focus on organic production and improve the conditions in animal husbandry.

The forest restoration and reforestation strategy will stimulate the development of solutions for strengthening the ecosystem function of forests, also with regard to the restoration of forests after the bark beetle calamity. We will contribute to better availability of drinking and non-drinking water and support a stable water management infrastructure.

We will simplify subsidy programmes and reduce the administrative burden.

Agriculture

  • We will support family farms and small, medium, start-up and organic farmers more effectively (including through leases of State land). Farms will not be burdened with unnecessary or duplicate administration. We will promote an agricultural policy that effectively achieves economic, environmental and social objectives in our country.
  • We support the payment for the first hectares and the capping of subsidies for the largest companies, which will take into account the conditions of Czech agriculture and contribute to good farming.
  • We will provide investment subsidies (RDP, Agricultural and Forestry Support and Guarantee Fund – PGRLF) to farmers whose income from agricultural activities will be at least 30% including business interconnectedness.
  • We will lay down clear rules for drawing and we will strictly control the interconnectedness of companies who draw subsidies. Payment for organic activities that farmers receive as subsidies will be simple, fast and efficient. All of this always taking into account the farmer’s respectful approach to the landscape and animals.
  • We will reduce the bureaucratic burden on farmers – our approach will move away from repression to advice. We will fundamentally simplify subsidy programmes. We will pay attention to proportionality of controls.
  • We will modernise the system of agricultural land use registration (LPIS) and connect it with other systems. Farmers will deal with the administration in a single place. We will expand the LPIS with other functions to facilitate the creation of agronomic plans. We will eliminate duplicate forms.
  • We will support precision agriculture, integrated production, reducing the use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides, greater use of organic fertilisers or the use of their variants without unnecessary nitrogen release.
  • We protect the soil from occupation and degradation. A quarter of agricultural land will be used for organic farming by 2030, with an emphasis on arable land. At least one tenth of agricultural land will actively protect pollinators and overall biodiversity by 2030 (balks, buffer strips, windbreaks, fallows).
  • We will end the support of 1st generation biofuels and biogas plants that process technical crops. (Biogas from waste, on the other hand, is a suitable addition to the energy mix.) We will tackle the negative effects of industrial agriculture.
  • We will strengthen the influence of land owners on the condition of their land. By amending the Act on the Protection of Agricultural Land Fund, we will transfer responsibility for the state of the landscape to those who farm the land. We will encourage private owners, hunters, beekeepers, associations, etc. to plant trees, create landscape features and ensure harmony of agriculture and nature conservation.
  • We will motivate farmers to reduce soil blocks, we will limit the crop area in areas at risk of erosion to 10 hectares.
  • We will review the Czech Republic’s position on the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
  • We will promote the co-creation of agricultural subsidy policy conditions, a landscape revitalisation plan and climate change adaptation measures in close cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of the Environment.
  • We will set up a voluntary reserve fund to support farmers in the event of natural disasters. Deposits in such a fund would be a cost item.
  • We will support comprehensive landscaping to slow erosion, retain water in the landscape and facilitate owners’ access to their land. We will set aside at least CZK 3 billion a year for this support and ensure a multi-year stable financial framework.
  • We will review field drainage and support its abolition where it unnecessarily drains water from the soil.
  • We will increase the powers of landowners and farmers in the organisation of hunting grounds. Addressing problems with overpopulated game or pests early on will save the countryside from more damage and save public money.
  • We will increase the budget for research and dissemination of innovations in agriculture and for research on plant nutrition and the introduction of preventive plant protection measures. We will increase the quality of agricultural education to better prepare young farmers for the modernisation and robotisation of the sector.
  • We will ensure co-financing of the Rural Development Programme from the State budget in at least the current amount. These funds must actually be spent on our countryside. We want to further develop the Agricultural and Forestry Support and Guarantee Fund as a suitable instrument of State support for the agricultural sector for small and medium-sized farmers with an amount of at least CZK 2 billion.

Food industry

  • We will support the shortening of sales chains. We will motivate farmers to be able to process raw materials themselves and deliver them to the local market (shops, farmers’ markets, direct farm sales). We will support actual sales co-operatives and improve the position of primary producers. In public catering, we will promote local, seasonal, organic and nutritionally rich foods.
  • We will support the establishment of a strategic investment fund, which will facilitate the entry of suppliers into processing companies and their cooperation with local business partners. We strive for the long-term advantageous participation of farms in food processing and trade, which has already proved favourable abroad.
  • We want to increase food security for commodities where it makes sense in our circumstances. We will also support organic food production and be relentless in promoting our national interests in the issue of dual quality. We will support the activities of food banks.
  • At EU level, we will not allow the import of food from third countries that do not meet our strict standards. We will promote a common approach to animal welfare (including a Europe-wide ban on cage laying hens or fur farms) so that Czech farmers are not disadvantaged by the ban.

Water management

  • We will improve the availability of drinking and non-drinking water. We will support a stable water management infrastructure and interconnection of water supply systems. We will support the return of water infrastructure to local government ownership. We will only allow the construction of new water reservoirs in exceptional cases and for the purpose of supplying the population with drinking water. We will digitise the Water Supply and Sewerage Systems Development Plan.

Forestry

  • Forests are our national heritage, not timber factories. We will ensure transparent management of State forests and their commercial policies with an emphasis on forest protection and the development of local processing capacities. Future profits from State forests will not go to the State budget, but rather contribute to the restoration of forest ecosystems and water conservation. We will support our own production capacities for the implementation of routine logging and plantation work as well as the timely solution of emerging bark beetle outbreaks.
  • We will work for the development of small and medium-sized timber and forestry companies to be competitive in obtaining government contracts. We will support local and regional processing, its promotion, innovation and relevant research.
  • We will develop a raw materials policy for wood. We will support wood as a renewable material in construction, at least for public procurement.
  • We will set up a system of positive and cost-effective incentives for owners for the necessary transformation of forests – change of species composition and structure, natural regeneration, adaptation to climate change and increasing biodiversity. We will prepare a form of support for other than State forest owners with regard to the method of management and subsequent care supporting the non-productive properties of the forest.
  • We will support the restoration of forests after the bark beetle calamity using nature-friendly practices with natural species composition in the given habitats. We advocate targeted, not area-wide felling, aftercare and compensation for losses. We will help responsible private owners; in State forests, we will give priority to non-productive forest functions in their management.
  • We will carry through changes to relevant decrees (especially on forest management planning), which will simplify the implementation of non-grazing methods of forest management and support other important measures.
  • We will develop a strategy for the restoration and rebuilding of forest stands with an emphasis on enhancing ecosystem functions based on the risk of decay and biomonitoring of forest response to drought.
  • We will change the approach to forestry policy and set its long-term objectives. We prefer a return to the National Forestry Programme II.

Environment

Preamble

The protection of the environment, natural resources, landscape, nature, biodiversity and climate will be a key priority of the government; it will be promoted in close cooperation between the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture, Industry and Trade, Transport and Regional Development and in consultation with the social partners.

The Czech Republic will be a constructive partner in global efforts to protect the climate. The government will work to mitigate the effects of climate change and contribute to achieving EU climate neutrality by 2050. The Green Deal is an opportunity to significantly modernise the Czech economy, increase the quality of life and improve our environment by investing in sustainable development, clean and renewable resources and the circular economy. When negotiating specific measures in the EU, the government will take into account their social impacts and specific conditions of the Czech Republic. By the first half of 2022, we will prepare impact studies for individual draft measures and we will initiate the same with the European Commission.

At the national level, we will focus in particular on effective support for mitigation and adaptation measures to reduce the negative impacts of climate change, the return of water to the landscape, the protection of biodiversity or the transition to a circular economy.

Water and climate change adaptation

  • We consider the protection of water and its sources to be a national interest; therefore, we will present a proposal for constitutional water protection by the end of 2022.
  • Water retention in the landscape and restoring the natural water regime are our clear priority. We will use European and national subsidy programmes mainly to support a system of small and medium-scale measures to improve the retention capacity of the landscape. We will support thousands of projects to restore wetlands, pools, small water reservoirs and floodplains, care for valuable biotopes, plant greenery, improve the spatial and species composition of forests or revitalise watercourses and make them more suitable for fish migration.
  • We will significantly subsidise the construction of new drinking water sources and water mains, interconnection of water supply systems, rainwater harvesting and utilisation systems, drinking water treatment technologies, sewerage systems and wastewater treatment systems.
  • We will thoroughly review the legislation on the investigation and clean-up of environmental accidents and the handling of toxic and hazardous substances; in 2022, we will propose appropriate changes and increase fines for environmental damage so that they will be based on potential damage.
  • We will only allow the construction of new water reservoirs in exceptional cases and for the purpose of supplying the population with drinking water.
  • We will focus on the consistent implementation of measures resulting from the Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic and the related National Action Plan.
  • We will work to improve the climate in cities, towns and municipalities by significantly improving their greenery. We will enshrine blue-green infrastructure in legislation.

Nature and landscape protection

  • We will expand the area of large-scale protected areas. We will announce the Křivoklátsko National Park and the Soutok National Park.
  • We will accelerate and expand the implementation of conservation programmes for the most valuable species. We will ensure more effective protection of species based primarily on habitat protection through legislative changes prepared by 2023 and support for practical measures. We will promote measures to eliminate the illegal killing of animals and to reduce the illegal trade in them.
  • We will reduce land degradation and slow down the loss of agricultural land. In 2022, we will submit an amendment to the Agricultural Land Fund Protection Act with the aim of incorporating landscape elements into the agricultural landscape, tightening the encroachment of quality agricultural land and supporting the natural regeneration of areas after mineral extraction. We will evaluate the effectiveness of the anti-erosion decree and take further legislative measures to improve protection against soil erosion, taking wind erosion into account.

Climate protection

  • We will present a new Climate Protection Policy of the Czech Republic, which will take into account the new ambitious EU goals by 2030 and set guidelines for achieving the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. The policy will be prepared in close cooperation with the update of the State Energy Policy so that the government will discuss both documents in 2023.
  • We will support photovoltaic installations on at least one hundred thousand roofs by 2025.

Waste

  • We will support the reduction of the amount of waste produced by the transition to a circular economy. We will support the development of technologies for waste sorting, recycling and recovery, including recycling hubs, bio-waste composting and the utilisation of gastro-waste. We will reduce the use of disposable packaging and consider introducing other systems for deposits on packaging (PET, aluminium).
  • We will support the introduction of sustainability requirements in public procurement and government and local government purchases, with the primary aim to prevent or reduce waste.

Air and clean mobility

  • Good air quality and reducing the health risks associated with air pollution are one of our priorities. Therefore, we will create adequate conditions for improving the air pollution situation across economic sectors, including speeding up the preparation of high-speed railways and speeding up the completion of city bypasses. In particular, the government will ensure sufficient funding to support the replacement of non-ecological heating in households with emission-free and low-emission heat sources and to reduce the energy consumption of buildings. Non-ecological heat sources must be replaced as soon as possible. Emphasis will be placed on supporting low-income households that are most at risk of energy poverty.
  • We will limit exemptions from pollutant emission limits.
  • We will support a significant development of infrastructure for electro-mobility and other clean alternative vehicles to help improve air quality in cities.

Support activities

  • We will support environmental education and training, especially with regard to the systemic application of climate education in schools. We will support a nationwide campaign that will select a Czech national bird in cooperation with the Czech Society for Ornithology.
  • We will ensure quality and publicly accessible monitoring of the state of all key components of our environment.
  • We will support environmental research, development and innovation by continuing the Environment for Life programme.
  • We will continue to eliminate unnecessary administrative burdens in the field of environmental legislation through the implementation of the eco-audit.
  • We will ensure better coherence of all national policies aimed towards meeting national commitments and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

Justice and law

Preamble

We will prepare new procedural codes, which are a prerequisite for modernising, speeding up and improving the quality of judicial proceedings. We will put forward measures that will bring about changes in the position of senior public prosecutors. We will support a consensual solution to parental conflicts; children must never become victims of disputes between parents. We will present measures to help deal effectively with financial difficulties and debt so that the emphasis is put on prevention and second chances. As part of the digitisation of State administration and the use of modern technologies, we will make it easier to establish and register limited liability companies in the Commercial Register.

  • By mid-2022, we will propose changes that will further facilitate the establishment and registration of limited liability companies in the Commercial Register using means of electronic communication and identification.
  • We will finalise the draft of the new Code of Criminal Procedure. We will finalise the draft of the substantive intent of the Code of Civil Procedure.
  • By the end of 2022, we will complete a draft amendment to the Prosecutor’s Office Act, which will bring changes to the position of senior public prosecutors, specifically introducing a term of office, rules for their transparent selection and the conditions for their dismissal, including specifying the conditions for the dismissal of the chief public prosecutor.
  • We will adopt measures to improve the accountability of prosecutors.
  • We will evaluate the recent changes to distraint, the impact of the protected account institute and the administrative burden on employers. We will find a balanced solution that both help the responsible debtors and respect the rights of genuine creditors. We will set up the system so that the debtor is motivated to work and repay the debt. Debts are to be paid, but it is of no help to anyone when debtors become lifelong slaves. We will publish the exact relevant data for distraints and work to stop the illegal ones. We will reduce the period of insolvency proceedings to 3 years. We will set up the whole system so that the debtor is always motivated to work and repay the debt.
  • We will support a consensual solution to parental conflicts; children must never become victims of disputes between parents. We will ensure better protection for victims of sexual and domestic violence. We will support an amendment of legal conditions for registered partners, e.g. in the Civil Code.
  • We will pass further laws to improve the transparency of public administration and to prevent and punish corruption. We will also take other measures to achieve this, in particular by introducing a single public register of subsidies and by linking the data managed there with the register of beneficial owners so that information on the recipients of public funds, including their beneficial owners, is freely available to the public in a clear form that allows remote access.
  • We will carry through an amendment to the Conflict of Interest Act and prevent the excessive accumulation of political, economic and media power so that political and economic competition is not distorted and takes place transparently and on equal footing. We will set clear rules for media ownership and drawing on public budgets.
  • We will present draft acts transposing the European directive on the protection of individuals who report breaches of Union law. Previous attempts to transpose this commitment into national law have failed, and the Czech Republic currently lacks comprehensive legislation ensuring effective protection for whistleblowers. At the same time, this protection can also make a significant contribution to the prevention, detection and punishment of reported anti-social activities, thus protecting important public interests.
  • We will advocate for electronic court files, the contents of which will be shared between the relevant courts, other judicial authorities and authorised persons.
  • We will make available full electronic submission to public registers, the register of beneficial owners and the register of trusts.
  • We will create a modern and user-friendly digital platform for electronic judicial services and information in the field of justice.
  • We will introduce a single payment gateway for the justice sector to allow for court fees to be paid online.
  • We will make available statistics on the decisions of judges and courts.
  • We will improve staffing in the area of administrative justice.
  • We will work to increase the remuneration of non-judicial workers in the judiciary and the public prosecution.
  • We will promote the expansion of the concept of restorative justice in response to the Restorative Justice Strategy for the Czech Republic and we will support the expansion of the probation houses concept.
  • We will focus on the overuse of criminal repression for actions with low social harm.
  • We will protect the fundamental attributes of the right to a fair trial, including the protection of the performance of the activity of professional chambers against unjustified State interference and ensuring the statutory right to confidentiality.
  • We will advocate for the expansion of alternative sentencing and the prevention and reduction of recidivism. This will improve the situation in prisons and speed up the return of convicts to normal life. We will launch analytical tools to measure effectiveness in terms of recidivism and cost.
  • We will ensure the selection of a suitable supplier of the electronic monitoring system (electronic bracelets) and at the same time promote their wider use. Electronic monitoring is an effective tool not only for the control of house arrest and detention, but also for cases of persons released from prison with supervision.
  • We will simplify employment of prisoners and increase the number of prisoners employed.
  • We will support the expansion of the concept of open prisons, the digitisation of selected activities related to the treatment of prisoners and other measures to reduce the recidivism of offenders, increase security and save taxpayers’ money for the execution of sentences of imprisonment and the associated stay of prisoners in prisons.
  • We will support systemic support for penitentiary and post-penitentiary inter-ministerial cooperation in the area of safe release of prisoners.     
  • We will evaluate the newly adopted legal framework for the performance of expert activities and propose necessary changes leading to the restoration of expert activities.
  • We will review the remuneration system for experts, court interpreters and translators and increase the remuneration of experts, court interpreters and translators to match the demanding nature and social necessity of these professions.
  • We will work to finish the Czech society’s reckoning with its communist past, including cases of persistent income inequities between the oppressors and the oppressed, the proper functioning of institutions established to study, document and investigate totalitarianism, and to commemorate the legacy of victims of totalitarian regimes.
  • We will return the scope of competence of the Lustration Act to members of the government.

Legislation

Preamble

Good legislation and smart State management are essential prerequisites for the prosperity of our country. The State must not put spanners in the works of its people and companies but, on the contrary, it must create an environment that encourages their creativity, drive and entrepreneurship.

Cutting the red tape, good legislation and smart State management

  • We will improve the quality of our legislation. We will carefully consider each new regulation based on an analysis of its expected impacts. The legislative proposals required to implement this Policy Statement will be submitted through the standard legislative procedure and will be subject to the opinion of experts within the Government Legislative Council before they are submitted to the government.
  • In the case of new acts, government regulations and decrees, we will usually evaluate their operation in practice no later than five years after their entry into effect. To this end, we will use a methodology for assessing the overall societal benefits and impacts of legislation ex-ante and ex-post, in line with good EU practice and OECD recommendations.
  • We will introduce Family Impact Assessment and Territorial Impact Assessment.
  • We will simplify the necessary rules. We will abolish any unnecessary or no longer meaningful parts of Czech law: obligations, stamps and even whole acts. First of all, we will focus on simplifying the obligations of small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • We will introduce modern forms of public consultation on future and existing legislation.
  • We will establish a top expert workplace at the Office of the Government, headed by renowned experts and backed by our own experts to support smart State management.
  • We will ensure functional cooperation between the State administration and high-quality academic institutions from the Czech Republic and abroad, which will enable better transfer of current knowledge to the creation of laws.

Conservative changes to the Constitution         

  • We will apply a conservative approach to the Constitution of the Czech Republic and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. In discussion with the Senate and the opposition, we will seek solutions to the currently discussed topics, such as strengthening the role of the Senate, the voluntary moving mandate, regulation of troop deployments, constitutional protection of water, and expanding the powers of the Supreme Audit Office. 

print article   email   facebook   twitter

Photo Gallery