The country-specific recommendations are documents prepared by the European Commission for each Member State, which analyse its economic situation and provide tailored policy advice on measures that it should adopt over the coming 18 months. They cover the particular challenges that the Member State is facing in a broad range of areas: the state of public finances, reforms of pension systems, measures to create jobs and to fight unemployment, education and innovation challenges, efficiency of the public administration, competition etc. The final adoption of country-specific recommendations prepared by the Commission takes place at the highest level by national leaders in the European Council.
Emerging from a two-year recession, the Czech Republic exited the excessive deficit procedure in 2014 and its economic recovery is gaining ground. The unemployment rate, which declined moderately at the end of last year, is expected to decrease further in 2015.
Some progress has been made over the last year towards improving the fiscal position, tax compliance and the quality of compulsory education and research institutions. However, reform efforts in other areas were only limited – notably in terms of enhancing the performance of public employment services and ensuring the availability of child care services, implementing the anti-corruption strategy, strengthening the implementation of public tenders, improving the management of EU funds, deregulating the services sector and increasing energy efficiency – while several issues were left unaddressed.
In the short term, the key challenge for the Czech Republic is to end a protracted period of subdued growth by prioritising public investment in infrastructure, ensuring efficient absorption of EU funds, improving public administration, activating untapped potential of supplies of labour and reaping benefits from the quickly expanding R&D base. See how the Czech Republic compares with other EU Member States in key areas.
2014 European Commission's recommendations in brief
The Commission has issued seven country-specific recommendations to the Czech Republic to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of: public finances; taxation; pensions and health care; labour market; education, training and research; services; public administration.