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REGION OF THE WEEK:

Prague

Prague

22/03/2012

Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn is in Prague on 22-23 March to meet Czech Prime Minister Mr Petr Necǎs as well as several Members of the Czech Government. He will also participate in an informal meeting of the Ministers for Regional Development of the V4 group and Slovenia and attend a conference of the Future of Regional Policy.

The Prague Region covers an area of 496.1km2 and it has 1,257,158 inhabitants (31/12/2010). It is the economic centre of the Czech Republic, creating around 25% of the country GDP. The regional GDP per capita of Prague is the highest of Czech Republic (216,05% of the national average) and it is 173,8% of the EU average. The percentage of services has been 80% already since 1999 and the unemployment rate with 4.07% is extremely low.

Prague is also the site of most financial institutions and foreign firms and is considered by foreign investors as an attractive region, 30% of total foreign investments in the Czech Republic going to Prague. Central public bodies and scientific and research facilities are concentrated in Prague which makes this Region also the centre of politics, international relations, education, culture and tourism and the transport node in the country.

 

What are the country's priorities?

Despite very positive economic data, Prague has to address environmental issues like air and noise pollution, brownfield sites in traditionally industrial zones of the city and high energy demands, too much transport concentration in the city centre and the lack of Research &Development and innovation centres.

In this context, the EU main intervention areas in Prague are:


  • Transport accessibility: investing in ecologically friendly public transportation.


  • Information and Communication Technology (ITC): Development and availability of ICT services.


  • Environment: Revitalisation, areas protection as well as economic and sustainable use of energies and natural resources.


  • Innovation: Development of an innovation environment and partnership between the Research &Development base and organisations of practical application.


  • Enterprise: Support for favourable business environment and development of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.
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    How has EU regional policy contributed?

    Since Prague belongs to one of the more developed regions, the total allocation from the European Regional Development Fund for the Operational Programme Prague - Competitiveness is small compared to the overall allocation for the Czech Republic. Total allocation for 2007-2013 is 283,77 million EUR, EU contribution is 241,21 mil. EUR (85% of public funding).

     

    Project examples

    • Tramway line Radlická : EU contribution: 17,7 million EUR from the ERDF

    • A tramway line in one of the Prague city districts has been modernised and prolonged, ensuring better connection with existing metro line and barrier free access to provide the city with a more ecologically friendly public transportation.

    • Leisure area Ladronka: EU contribution: 1,7 million EUR from the ERDF


    • For a long time, the area around the baroque Ladronka used to be one of the notoriously neglected and deprived areas in Prague. Now it is the most popular activity park in Prague. The project in its second and third stages focuses on the extension of the park and the prolongation of one its popular features, one 4,2 km long cycle and in-line skates path. It is an important example in the field of revitalisation and area protection for the Prague region.

    • Centre of polymer materials and technologies of Otto Wichterle: EU contribution: ca 2.5 million EUR from the ERDF


    • The objective of this project is to create a unique research centre at one of the research institutes of the Czech Academy of Science focused on polymer materials and technologies which should ensure more effective research, better links between theoretical research and practical application and optimal education of future research workers. This project is one important milestone for the development of an innovation environment and partnership between the Research & Development base and organisations of practical research in the Region.

     

    Further information