The lower house of Parliament has approved a new draft law on the
protection of privacy. The main aim is to bring Czech legislation fully in
line with European legislation, in particular the General Data Protection
Regulation, or “GDPR”, which came into effect in May.
At the instigation of MP Jakub Michálek (Pirates), deputies agreed that the Office for the Protection of Personal Data (ÚOOÚ) will become the administrative appeal body for cases where authorities failed to comply with requests under the law on Free Access to Information.
The GDPR is designed to help protect the rights of EU citizens against the abuse of their data. It concerns for example public institutions, businesses and self-employed people who register their employees, members, customers or supporters.
According to new draft law version adopted on Wednesday, it will still be possible to process personal data for certain journalistic, academic, artistic and literary purposes. In concrete terms, journalists will not be required, for example, to ask ask each participant of an event or rally for permission to publish images in which they appear.
The National Centre for Combatting Organized Crime has warned that
“uncontrolled numbers of people practicing Islam entering the country”
presents a security threat.
In its annual report the centre says it has registered an increasing number of firms and agencies owned by Muslims being set up in the Czech Republic for the purpose of settling visas and residence permits for Muslims to this country.
The centre says the long and short term residence permits are often requested for the purpose of accompanying sick relatives to Czech spas and that many of these clients are spending large sums of money which it is difficult to trace.
The Czech Republic has joined NATO member states in urging Russia to comply
with the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
At a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on Tuesday Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said the Czech Republic fully understands the US decision to abandon the pact if Russia does not start complying with the treaty within 60 days.
The Czech Republic considers the INF-T treaty important for Euro-Atlantic security as it has eliminated a dangerous and destabilising category of carriers of nuclear and conventional weapons. Should it be abandoned, the responsibility will lie entirely with Russia, the Czech foreign minister noted.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has welcomed the news that the
passage of vessels for Ukrainian ships carrying agricultural products
through ports in the Azov Sea has been unlocked.
Speaking to journalists at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on Tuesday, the Czech foreign minister said NATO supports Ukraine and is taking practical steps to increase its stability, security and resilience.
The Czech Foreign Ministry earlier described Russia’s blockade of the Kerch Strait and the use of force against Ukraine’s naval vessels as a gross violation of international law and called for a de-escalation of tensions.
The Czech Republic has one of the highest rates of prisoners per capita in
Europe, according to a comparative study conducted by the Council of
In 2015 the Czech Republic had 198 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants, which is 6 percent more than in 2005.
The number ranks the Czech Republic 11th on a list of 49 countries monitored.
The overall number of prisoners has grown by 10 percent in the last decade. The number of jailed women is up by 48 percent.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is on a two-day business oriented visit to
Morocco. The prime minister is accompanied by Trade and Industry Minister
Marta Nováková and a delegation of 37 business leaders.
Mr. Babiš is due to hold talks with his Moroccan counterpart Saadadin Usmani and sign an inter-governmental agreement on industrial cooperation. The two sides are also expected to debate the problem of migration.
Morocco is the Czech Republic’s biggest economic partner in the region of North Africa. In the past five years Czech exports to Morocco doubled and a number of Czech companies are active on the Moroccan market.
Opposition parties in the lower house are calling for a parliamentary
commission which would evaluate the influence of foreign agents on
developments in the Czech Republic.
A joint proposal for such a commission has been tabled by the Civic Democrats, the Pirate Party, TOP 09, the Mayors and Independents and the Christian Democrats. The move comes in response to an intelligence service report warning of heightened activity on the part of Russian and Chinese agents in the country.
The report for 2017, issued on Monday, is to be debated at a special government session.
The app-based ride sharing service Taxify has been banned from operating in
Prague until it meets the conditions required from a regular taxi service.
The Prague Municipal Court ruled on Tuesday that, like Uber, the Estonian company must agree to respect conditions which would put it on an equal footing with taxi drivers, by operating a licensed service, with drivers registering and taxing their earnings in the Czech Republic. Taxify may still appeal the verdict.
The company started operating in the Czech Republic in 2015 and the number of active Taxify drivers is estimated at several hundred.
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