Category Archives: Czech republic – adoption of the community acquis

The Czech Republic

The Czech Republic

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Czech Republic

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Competition > Competition: international dimension and enlargement

The Czech Republic

1) References

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2009 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 708 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 503 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 703 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final – SEC(2001) 1746 – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final – SEC(2002) 1402 – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final – SEC(2003) 1200 – Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) Summary

The July 1997 Opinion considered that the Czech Republic had made considerable progress in approximating its legislation on restrictive agreements. It also noted the considerable efforts made by the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition in applying the legislation. As for State aid, significant progress had been made especially as regards transparency.

The November 1998 Report, however, concluded that no significant progress had been made either as regards restrictive agreements or as regards State aid.

The October 1999 Report stressed that progress made in state aid control was inadequate. Anti-trust was largely in line with Community acquis.

According to the November 2000 Report, alignment of Czech legislation was very advanced. While antitrust legislation showed little progress, alignment in respect of State aid had progressed significantly following the entry into force of the new law.

The November 2001 Report noted that the new antitrust law came into force in July and stressed that steady progress was being made with regard to State aid. The Czech Republic had tied up most of the legislative loopholes referred to in the 2000 Report, and Czech legislation for the most part is now aligned.

The October 2002 Report found that the Czech Republic had made progress in the area. However, it needed to concentrate its efforts on strengthening implementing measures in relation to State aid.

The November 2003 Report states that antitrust and State aid commitments have been met, but notes that the work carried out to date must be continued with a view to ensuring its effective implementation.

COMMUNITY

ACQUIS

European Community rules on competition stem from Article 3(g) of the EC Treaty, which states that the activities of the Community shall include “a system ensuring that competition in the internal market is not distorted”. The main areas of application are restrictive agreements and State aid.

The European Agreement with the Czech Republic, which came into force on 1 February 1995, provides for a competition regime to be applied in trade relations between the Community and the Czech Republic based on the requirements set out in Articles 81, 82 and 87 of the EC Treaty (former Articles 85, 86 and 92) concerning agreements between undertakings, abuses of dominant position and State aid, and for implementing rules in these fields to be adopted within three years of the entry into force of the Agreement.

Furthermore, the Agreement requires the Czech Republic to make its rules on competition compatible with those of the Community.

The White Paper refers to the progressive application of the above provisions and of those contained in the merger Regulation (4064/89) and Articles 31 (ex-Article 37) and 86 (ex-Article 90) concerning monopolies and special rights of the EC Treaty.

EVALUATION

Anti-trust legislation is largely in line with the acquis. The entry into force of a new law on State aid in 2000 and a new antitrust law in July 2001 has closed the remaining loopholes.

The economic competition Bureau has an adequate number of well-trained staff, which is reflected in the efficient application of antitrust legislation. However, this result could be improved by a policy of more severe penalties.

The Czech Republic is aligned with the acquis in the matter. Further efforts should be made in the banking sector and the steel industry. In spite of the transitional arrangement in relation to restructuring of the steel industry from which it benefits until December 2006, the Czech Republic should ensure that no aid is granted which is incompatible with the Protocol on Steel.

Negotiations on this chapter are continuing. In order to prepare successfully for accession, the Czech Republic must now concentrate its efforts in relation to State aid by ensuring more efficient monitoring and surveillance.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.


Another Normative about The Czech Republic

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Consumers > Consumers: enlargement

The Czech Republic

1) References

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2009 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 708 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 503 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 703 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [SEC(2001) 1746 – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final – SEC(2003) 1200 – Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) Summary

In its Opinion of July 1997, the European Commission took the view that considerable work was required to bring Czech legislation into line with the Community acquis in the medium term. Although the compatibility of national legislation with Community standards was considered satisfactory in such fields as product safety, the indication of prices and the labelling of textile products, there was no legislation governing other sectors. There was also a call to coordinate and organise the responsibilities of the various bodies responsible for consumer protection and to ensure that the legislation was implemented.

The November 1998 Report stressed that bringing Czech legislation into line with the acquis had fallen behind and called on the Czech Republic to make additional efforts in this area.

The October 1999 Report noted that progress in bringing Czech legislation into line with the acquis continued to be unsatisfactory in important areas and that further efforts were necessary.

In its October 2002 Report the Commission noted that the negotiations on this chapter had been provisionally closed. The Czech Republic had not requested any transitional arrangements in this area. In order to complete preparations for membership, the Czech Republic’s efforts needed to focus on the fine-tuning of its legislation, the adoption of any outstanding measures and the ongoing improvements to coordination amongst the institutions involved.

The October 2003 Report concludes that the Czech Republic is essentially in line with the Community acquis in the areas of both safety-related measures and non-safety-related measures (e.g. consumer organisations). However, it needs to improve market surveillance in order to ensure implementation of these measures and strengthen the administrative structures responsible for implementation.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

The Community acquis covers the protection of consumers’ economic interests (notably in the fields of misleading advertising, indication of prices, consumer credit, unfair contract terms, distance selling, package travel, and timeshares), general product safety, cosmetics safety, the labelling of textile products and toy safety.

The European Association Agreement provides for aligning the legislation with Community law and for cooperation measures to bring Czech consumer protection law fully into line with the Community rules. The measures set out in the first phase of the White Paper on the Central and Eastern European Countries and the Internal Market (1995) focus on the improvement of product safety, notably in respect of cosmetics, textiles and toys, and on the protection of consumers’ economic interests, mainly in the field of misleading advertising, consumer credit, unfair contract terms, and indication of prices. The second-phase measures concern package travel and timeshares. New, recently adopted Community legislation (distance selling, comparative advertising and indication of prices) must also be transposed.

EVALUATION

Safety-related measures

The Czech Republic has made a considerable effort to comply with the acquis as regards safety-related measures. In 2003 it transposed the Directive on general product safety.
Market surveillance is already well-established, and is divided between several bodies, principally the Czech Agricultural and Food Inspectorate (CAFI), the State Veterinary Administration (specified areas of food control) and the Czech Trade Inspectorate (CTI) (non-food products and protection of consumers’ economic interests).
The division of responsibilities between these different organisations has been increasingly clarified, but efficiency and coordination among the actors could still be improved further. Efforts should continue in order to increase the operability of the existing system for the exchange of information between market surveillance bodies.

The Czech Republic is in the process of adapting its arrangements in order to participate in the RAPEX information system on dangerous products, more specifically by using the PROSAFE network (European Product Safety Forum).

Non-safety-related measures

The Czech Republic has practically completed transposition of the acquis as regards non-safety-related measures, although a system for the out-of-court settlement of disputes outside the financial services area still needs to be developed.

Consumer organisations

The situation as regards consumer organisations is very positive. Following the latest changes to legislation, consumer organisations can now apply for an injunction for the protection of consumers’ interests. However, they should participate more actively in the creation and observation of safety standards and in raising awareness of consumers’ rights.
The number of consumer organisations has increased in recent years, as has their level of professionalism. Their integration into European structures such as the European Bureau of Consumer Unions (BEUC), the European Association for the Coordination of Consumer Representation in Standardisation (ANEC) and the Association of European Consumers (AEC) has continued. Government funding for them has also improved.
The work of these organisations focuses on giving free advice and information through nearly 50 advice centres, publishing and education, comparative testing of products and goods, and out-of-court settlement of disputes.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.


Another Normative about The Czech Republic

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Research and innovation > Research and innovation: international dimension and enlargement

The Czech Republic

1) References

Commission Opinion COM(97) 2009 final [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(98) 708 final [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(1999) 503 final [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(2000) 703 final [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(2001) 700 final – SEC(2001) 1746 [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(2002) 700 final – SEC(2002) 1402 [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(2003) 675 final – SEC(2003) 1200 [Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) Summary

In its July 1997 Opinion, the European Commission did not foresee any major problems in the field of research and technological development.

The November 1998 Report noted that certain progress had been made in this field.

The October 1999 Report also emphasised that progress had been made in the area of research and technological development, the Czech Republic having been fully associated with the fifth Framework Programme. No legislative progress had been recorded in the telecommunications sector, however, and major efforts were required. Policies and programmes were continuing to be developed in the field of the Information Society.

The 2000 Report noted the significant progress made since the previous year. Overall progress since 1994 showed that Czech telecommunications policy had developed in line with Community practice.

The October 2002 Report emphasised the progress made in the field of research with the adoption, in March 2002, of the Act on State support to research and technological development. The report also emphasised the appreciable progress made by the Czech Republic in terms of liberalising the telecommunications market.

The November 2003 Report points out that the Czech Republic is partially meeting the commitments arising from the accession negotiations in the telecommunications area. It is essentially meeting the requirements concerning postal services. In the area of science and research, the Czech Republic will be in a position to implement the acquis as from accession.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

Research and technological development (RTD) activities at Community level, as provided for in Article 164 of the EC Treaty (former Article 130G) and the framework programme (Article 166, former Article 130I), are aimed at improving the competitiveness of European industry and the quality of life, as well as supporting sustainable development and contributing to the development of other Community policies.

The European Association Agreement between the European Union and the Czech Republic provides for cooperation in these areas, notably through the participation of the associated State in the framework programme. The White Paper on the countries of central and eastern Europe and the internal market of the Union (1995) includes no direct measures in this field.

The aim of Community telecommunications policy is to remove barriers to the proper functioning of the single market in equipment, services and telecommunications networks, to open up foreign markets to Community companies and to make modern, accessible services available to EU nationals and companies. These aims are to be achieved by harmonising standards and requirements for the provision of services, opening up the terminals, services and networks markets and adopting the necessary regulations.

The Europe Agreement stipulates that the improvement of standards and practices in the field of telecommunications and postal services, standardisation, regulations and infrastructure modernisation to Community level must be achieved by means of cooperation. The White Paper places emphasis on the alignment of regulations, networks and services and the measures to be taken for the gradual liberalisation of the sector.

EVALUATION

Science and research

With regard to research and technological development, the present Community acquis does not require transposition into national law. Since 1999, the Czech Republic has been participating in the Fifth Framework Programme and in the Fifth Euratom Framework Programme of research and training activities (1). In preparation for this, a number of implementing structures have been established. The Czech Republic has also decided to open its corresponding research activities to enterprises, researchers and universities from the Member States. State support for research was increased to 0.6% of GDP in 2000, 0.65% in 2001 and 0.7% in 2002. The main development in this field in 2002 concerns the Act on State Support to Research and Technological Development, which was adopted in March 2002 and entered into force in July 2002. The Act provides for the allocation of public funds to research and development, outlines the rights and duties of private and legal entities dealing with research and development, establishes an evaluation system, and lays down the tasks and obligations of the relevant government bodies.

The Commission’s 2003 report points out that the Czech Republic has met the commitments arising from the accession negotiations in the area of science and research and will therefore be in a position to implement the acquis as from accession

Telecommunications

In the telecommunications sector, a new act came into force in July 2000 which will be the basis for the transposition of the Community acquis. There are, however, some reservations regarding the degree of separation between telecommunications service providers and the State. Concerning liberalisation of the telecommunications market, significant progress was made with the introduction of the carrier selection facility in 2002. The Czech Telecommunications Office has granted prefixes to all operators that intend to enter the market in July 2002. The legal framework for the number portability facility is set in the Telecommunications Act, but it is due to be provided only from January 2003. The Office drew up a re-numbering plan, which was implemented in September 2002.

The 2002 report observes that competition is strong in mobile services, where the penetration rate reached 70%. The mobile sector has become a direct competitor to the incumbent’s fixed network service. There are three GSM operators, and the government has granted two out of the three available Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) licences, so that UMTS operations can begin when market conditions permit.

Increased competition in fixed network services has been made possible by big improvements in speed of delivery of interconnection, the level of interconnection prices and access to carrier selection facilities. In August 2002, the government decided to privatise the State’s majority stake in the incumbent dominant operator, Cesky Telekom. This should help to improve the competitive environment.

In 2003, the Czech Republic’s legislation is mostly in line with the acquis adopted in the 1998-2000 period, except for the cost-orientation of certain prices which continue to hamper the full liberalisation of the market. Moreover, the 2002 acquis concerning the introduction of a new regulatory framework for electronic communications has not yet been transposed into Czech legislation.

Postal services

As regards postal services, the Czech Republic has made good progress as regards the level of alignment with the acquis, with the entry into force in July 2000 of a new law and the adoption of the relevant implementing decrees. The administrative capacity in this sector needs to be further strengthened, notably through further staffing and training. Universal services also need to be defined more clearly.

Information technologies

Regarding the information society, the government approved a policy document in May 1999 aimed at building a highly developed information society, including the right of direct access to information. It identifies priority areas and sets specific tasks to be achieved for each of these areas. There are no specific budgetary provisions. In March 2002, the Czech Government adopted an updated action plan as part of its national information policy so as to bring its objectives closer to those of eEurope 2002. It includes a list of information society projects which public administration services are to implement.

(1) Decision of the EU-Czech Republic Association Council of 30 July 1999 adopting the terms and conditions for the participation of the Czech Republic in Community programmes in the field of research, technological development and demonstration (1998 to 2002) and in programmes for research and training activities (1998 to 2002).

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

 


Another Normative about The Czech Republic

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Enlargement > Enlargement 2004 and 2007 > Czech republic – adoption of the community acquis

The Czech Republic

1) References

Commission Opinion COM(97) 2009 final [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(98) 708 final [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(1999) 503 final [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(2000) 703 final [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(2001) 700 final – SEC(2001) 1746 [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(2002) 700 final – SEC(2002) 1402 [Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report COM(2003) 675 final – SEC(2003) 1200 [Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) Summary

In its July 1997 Opinion, the European Commission did not foresee any major problems in the field of research and technological development.

The November 1998 Report noted that certain progress had been made in this field.

The October 1999 Report also emphasised that progress had been made in the area of research and technological development, the Czech Republic having been fully associated with the fifth Framework Programme. No legislative progress had been recorded in the telecommunications sector, however, and major efforts were required. Policies and programmes were continuing to be developed in the field of the Information Society.

The 2000 Report noted the significant progress made since the previous year. Overall progress since 1994 showed that Czech telecommunications policy had developed in line with Community practice.

The October 2002 Report emphasised the progress made in the field of research with the adoption, in March 2002, of the Act on State support to research and technological development. The report also emphasised the appreciable progress made by the Czech Republic in terms of liberalising the telecommunications market.

The November 2003 Report points out that the Czech Republic is partially meeting the commitments arising from the accession negotiations in the telecommunications area. It is essentially meeting the requirements concerning postal services. In the area of science and research, the Czech Republic will be in a position to implement the acquis as from accession.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

Research and technological development (RTD) activities at Community level, as provided for in Article 164 of the EC Treaty (former Article 130G) and the framework programme (Article 166, former Article 130I), are aimed at improving the competitiveness of European industry and the quality of life, as well as supporting sustainable development and contributing to the development of other Community policies.

The European Association Agreement between the European Union and the Czech Republic provides for cooperation in these areas, notably through the participation of the associated State in the framework programme. The White Paper on the countries of central and eastern Europe and the internal market of the Union (1995) includes no direct measures in this field.

The aim of Community telecommunications policy is to remove barriers to the proper functioning of the single market in equipment, services and telecommunications networks, to open up foreign markets to Community companies and to make modern, accessible services available to EU nationals and companies. These aims are to be achieved by harmonising standards and requirements for the provision of services, opening up the terminals, services and networks markets and adopting the necessary regulations.

The Europe Agreement stipulates that the improvement of standards and practices in the field of telecommunications and postal services, standardisation, regulations and infrastructure modernisation to Community level must be achieved by means of cooperation. The White Paper places emphasis on the alignment of regulations, networks and services and the measures to be taken for the gradual liberalisation of the sector.

EVALUATION

Science and research

With regard to research and technological development, the present Community acquis does not require transposition into national law. Since 1999, the Czech Republic has been participating in the Fifth Framework Programme and in the Fifth Euratom Framework Programme of research and training activities (1). In preparation for this, a number of implementing structures have been established. The Czech Republic has also decided to open its corresponding research activities to enterprises, researchers and universities from the Member States. State support for research was increased to 0.6% of GDP in 2000, 0.65% in 2001 and 0.7% in 2002. The main development in this field in 2002 concerns the Act on State Support to Research and Technological Development, which was adopted in March 2002 and entered into force in July 2002. The Act provides for the allocation of public funds to research and development, outlines the rights and duties of private and legal entities dealing with research and development, establishes an evaluation system, and lays down the tasks and obligations of the relevant government bodies.

The Commission’s 2003 report points out that the Czech Republic has met the commitments arising from the accession negotiations in the area of science and research and will therefore be in a position to implement the acquis as from accession

Telecommunications

In the telecommunications sector, a new act came into force in July 2000 which will be the basis for the transposition of the Community acquis. There are, however, some reservations regarding the degree of separation between telecommunications service providers and the State. Concerning liberalisation of the telecommunications market, significant progress was made with the introduction of the carrier selection facility in 2002. The Czech Telecommunications Office has granted prefixes to all operators that intend to enter the market in July 2002. The legal framework for the number portability facility is set in the Telecommunications Act, but it is due to be provided only from January 2003. The Office drew up a re-numbering plan, which was implemented in September 2002.

The 2002 report observes that competition is strong in mobile services, where the penetration rate reached 70%. The mobile sector has become a direct competitor to the incumbent’s fixed network service. There are three GSM operators, and the government has granted two out of the three available Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) licences, so that UMTS operations can begin when market conditions permit.

Increased competition in fixed network services has been made possible by big improvements in speed of delivery of interconnection, the level of interconnection prices and access to carrier selection facilities. In August 2002, the government decided to privatise the State’s majority stake in the incumbent dominant operator, Cesky Telekom. This should help to improve the competitive environment.

In 2003, the Czech Republic’s legislation is mostly in line with the acquis adopted in the 1998-2000 period, except for the cost-orientation of certain prices which continue to hamper the full liberalisation of the market. Moreover, the 2002 acquis concerning the introduction of a new regulatory framework for electronic communications has not yet been transposed into Czech legislation.

Postal services

As regards postal services, the Czech Republic has made good progress as regards the level of alignment with the acquis, with the entry into force in July 2000 of a new law and the adoption of the relevant implementing decrees. The administrative capacity in this sector needs to be further strengthened, notably through further staffing and training. Universal services also need to be defined more clearly.

Information technologies

Regarding the information society, the government approved a policy document in May 1999 aimed at building a highly developed information society, including the right of direct access to information. It identifies priority areas and sets specific tasks to be achieved for each of these areas. There are no specific budgetary provisions. In March 2002, the Czech Government adopted an updated action plan as part of its national information policy so as to bring its objectives closer to those of eEurope 2002. It includes a list of information society projects which public administration services are to implement.

(1) Decision of the EU-Czech Republic Association Council of 30 July 1999 adopting the terms and conditions for the participation of the Czech Republic in Community programmes in the field of research, technological development and demonstration (1998 to 2002) and in programmes for research and training activities (1998 to 2002).

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

 

Czech republic – adoption of the community acquis

Czech republic – adoption of the community acquis

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Czech republic – adoption of the community acquis

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Enlargement 2004 and 2007 > Czech republic – adoption of the community acquis

Czech republic – adoption of the community acquis

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