The Czech Republic officially applied for membership in 1996 when Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus submitted the Czech Republic’s application for accession to the European Union. Accession negotiations began in March 1998. Five years later, President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla signed an Accession Treaty in Athens, which entered into force on 1 May 2004, when the Czech Republic became a full member of the European Union.
Accession negotiations concerned the free movement of persons, the free movement of services, goods, and capital, the enforceability of law, the redistribution of money within the EU and the common currency.
Free movement of persons
- The purpose of free movement of persons is to work freely in any state of the European Union.
- Many old Member States did not allow immediate entry of citizens of the new Member States into their labor market. Citizens of the Czech Republic were able to work without restrictions only in Great Britain, Ireland and Sweden. The Czech Republic did not require any transitional periods, so citizens of other Member States could apply for work without any discriminatory restrictions in the Czech Republic.
- The so-called 2 + 3 + 2 system was introduced, when, after the end of the multi-year period, the countries had to argue that opening up the labor market is a direct threat to their economies and threatens them with internal problems. This issue was reopened at the European Commission in January 2006.
- Since 1 May 2006, the possibility of working in the following countries has opened: Greece, Portugal, Finland and Spain. France did so in the summer of 2008. Germany and Austria opened their labor markets for Czech citizens only in 2011.
- On 22 December 2007, the Czech Republic also became part of the Schengen area, which removes border controls with other EU countries.
Free movement of services, goods and capital
- the territory of the European Union is a customs union where goods lawfully marketed in one Member State may be exported to other Member States without customs or quantitative restrictions. Czech companies have also opened a multi-market service market. The free movement of capital has created new investment opportunities
- prior to joining, a survey of Eurochambers’ European Chambers of Commerce on readiness to join the EU was conducted in the candidate countries in which Czech businesses were considered ready (70%)
- When applying for EU accession, the Czech Republic had to adopt norms, laws and decrees in the legislative order to harmonize Czech law with European law. However, this unification is not over, and given that the European Parliament is not giving up and creating new and new laws that are also new to the Czech Republic, it is subsequently obliged to accept them
- It is easy to say that EU law is standard in interpreting other norms, Czech law. If there is a discrepancy between the legal regulations of the European regulations and the Czech laws, priority is given to the interpretation of European law. It is the Czech legislator’s responsibility to harmonize Czech regulations according to EU standards. The Czech Republic is bound by EU law logically from the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU, as of 1 May 2004. The Czech Republic lost part of the legislative initiative because it is handed over to the EU. Here is the basic legislative body of the European Parliament.
- Directly effective European legal standards can be invoked by citizens before national courts. In criminal law, Member States recognize one another as the European Arrest Warrant
- With regard to the priority, direct effect and obligation of Euroconform interpretation, EU law and, in part, EU law is required to be applied by all the authorities of the Member States. However, the application of general and administrative courts is particularly important as a form of dispute resolution. They receive a Union mandate and become co-sponsors of EU law. EU law most often occurs before administrative courts because it resolves disputes over the exercise of state authority, which is largely bound by EU law. The first and preferred application of Community law in the area of administrative law takes place in administrative proceedings before the administrative authorities, which have an obligation to apply Community law on their own initiative and to prioritize Community law in the event of a conflict with a national standard.
Redistribution of money within the EU
- The Czech Republic, as the acceding State in 2004, entered the running budget period 2000-2006. The first drawdown took place by the end of 2006
- Since the beginning of its membership, the Czech Republic has become the so-called “net beneficiary”, i.e. that the EU budget revenues exceeded the expenditure
- In 2013, the Czech Republic gained 84 billion net budget revenue from the EU thanks to the acceleration in the use of the EU Structural Funds, thus continuing to be the net beneficiary; for the year 2017 the net income was 55.4 billion
- The Czech Republic used the European Social Fund to improve the employment situation. It is one of the four Structural Funds of the European Union and aims to improve the employment situation. It is not just about developing employment or reducing unemployment, but also promoting equal opportunities and the integration of socially disadvantaged people.
- In the first budget, three operational programs of the European Social Fund (ESF) were implemented: OP Human Resources Development, the Single Program for the Capital City of Prague (SPD3) and the EQUAL Initiative (CIP EQUAL), which concerned the integration of socially disadvantaged fellow citizens . The Joint Regional Operational Program (JROP) is associated with the aim of supporting the balanced and sustainable economic development of all regions of the Czech Republic
The common currency
- The commitment to adopt the euro was also part of the EU accession, but the commitment does not provide for a concrete date of adoption
- The European currency unit, or the EURO (symbol €), is the currency of the European Economic and Monetary Union
- Members of the European Economic and Monetary Union are all EU countries. All countries must cooperate and respect the decision taken by the European Central Bank. Another group of countries with established currency is euro area members. These countries have entered the third stage by accepting the euro as their currency.
- The Czech National Bank will take care of monetary policy in the introduction of the euro, and the Ministry of Finance will take over the institutional adoption of the euro. Since 20 February 2006, the National Coordination Group has also been working on the adoption of the Euro, and this group is in charge of the cooperation of all the institutions involved.
- The adoption of the euro in the Czech Republic is expected at the earliest in 2019 or 2020