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European Commission recommends the Czech Republic include Romani children in the education system

15.5.2015 20:52
EU flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels (PHOTO: Sébastien Bertrand, Wikimedia commons)
EU flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels (PHOTO: Sébastien Bertrand, Wikimedia commons)

itsIn order for the Czech Republic to improve its economic situation it should simplify its tax system, fight tax evasion, better manage its health system, and get more Romani children involved in the education system. Those are the recommendations made by the European Commission (EC) to the Czech Republic as part of a larger set of recommendations to the EU-28 and published on 13 May.

From the EU perspective, what is essential for Prague is that according to the EC the Czech Republic is macroeconomically balanced and its deficit does not exceed 3 % of GDP. The EC nevertheless recommends achieving a fiscal adjustment of 0.5% of GDP next year.

It is also recommended that the country further improve the cost-effectiveness and governance of the healthcare sector. The EC says it needs to implement its anti-corruption plan and take measures to increase the transparency and efficiency of public procurement, in particular by establishing a central register of public contracts and strengthening guidance and supervision.

The EC says the high level of taxation levied on low-income earners should be reduced by shifting taxation to other areas. The availability of affordable childcare also needs to be further improved.

Higher education reform needs to be adopted. Lastly, adequate training for teachers should be ensured, support should be provided to poorly performing schools, and measures should be taken to increase participation among disadvantaged children, including Roma.  

"Many of these recommendations correspond to specific intentions we have already included in the Government's program declaration," Czech Prime Minister Sobotka responded. He referred to increased participation by disadvantaged children in mainstream education that is expected thanks to an amendment to the Schools Act.

An amendment to the Higher Education Act is also awaiting a vote in the lower house. Sobotka mentioned the adoption and implementation of a law on public services and the improved accessing of EU money by the Czech Republic as areas of progress compared to last year.

This year there were only four recommendations to the Czech Republic compared to seven last year. The background materials published on 13 May note that the Czech Republic has achieved "limited" or "some" progress for most of last year's points.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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