Czechs' trust in the EU and the European Parliament has seen a slow
but steady growth since 2016 when it was at its lowest since the
country’s admission to the EU in 2004, the STEM polling agency reported
According to the results of a June poll, trust in the EU in June was at 41 percent, up by 2 percent compared to the same month last year, and that in the European Parliament was up by 4 percent, reaching 34 percent.
Trust in EU institutions was at its highest at the start of the Czech EU presidency in 2009, when the EU was trusted by 60 percent and the EP by 51 percent of Czechs.
However it slid to a record low in 2016 declining to 29 and 24 percent, respectively, a phenomenon that was attributed, at least in part, to the migrant crisis.
STEM analysts say Czechs have been gradually feeling a stronger identity with Europe in the past few years. According to the latest poll some 71 percent of Czechs feel they are “Europeans”.
Twenty children, on average, are reported missing in the Czech Republic
every day and most are found within minutes or hours, according to police
statistics presented at the start of conference on missing children
organized by the non-profit organization Amber Alert Europe (AAE).
The organization created a network of police specialists involved in the search for missing children across Europe and regularly holds conferences where the main aim is for the respective police officers to establish contacts that they can later use to communicate more quickly, efficiently and informally in the search for missing children.Across Europe a child is reported missing every two minutes.
Prague is hosting the conference for the second time.It is attended by 40 specialists from 16 countries.
AAE founder and chairman Frank Hoen said in his opening address that the Czech police are among the best in Europe when it comes to searching for missing children.
The Finance Ministry has sent the government a proposal to introduce a 7%
digital tax for large Internet companies such as Facebook and Google as of
mid-2020. According to the ministry the tax could bring approximately five
billion crowns to state coffers annually.
The proposed tax would concern internet companies with a global turnover of over € 750 million (CZK 19.1 billion), and an annual turnover of at least CZK 50 million for taxable services in the Czech Republic. Some digital economy platforms, such as Airbnb and Uber, would also be taxable.
The ministry’s proposal is based on a draft prepared by the European Commission, which however failed to win approval in the European Parliament.
The deputy head of the State Environmental Fund Leo Steiner, who suspended
state subsidies to a company in the Agrofert conglomerate due to a possible
conflict of interest on the part of the Czech prime minister, Andrej
Babiš, has left his post, the news site Seznam.cz reported on Thursday.
Steiner himself confirmed that he had left at the end of August, saying that his superior wanted to start disciplinary proceedings against him for giving the media information about the suspension of the subsidies. Steiner said he had broken the internal regulation intentionally.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) and Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček
(Social Democrats) will represent the Czech Republic at the upcoming UN
General Assembly session.
The UN General Assembly session opens on 17 September with the first day of the high-level General Debate set for 24 September.
Mr Babiš is due to deliver a speech to the body sometime between 24-30 September and take part in multilateral delegation head-level events, including a possible meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres.
Apart from attending UN events, including a Climate Summit and a Sustainable Development forum, both Mr Babiš and Mr Petříček will travel outside of New York City.
Mr Babiš is set visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), meet representatives of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, and tour General Electric's R&D centre in Schenectady, New York.
Foreign Minister Petříček will attend meetings of foreign ministers from EU and NATO member countries in New York but also travel to Washington, D.C, for a conference of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), and to Miami, for a conference on democratic alternatives for Cuba.
China has cancelled the scheduled tour of another Czech music ensemble,
most likely due to an ongoing feud with Prague’s mayor, Czech Television
Mayor Zdenek Hřib (Pirate Party), a vocal supporter of Taiwan and Tibet, has pushed for the removal of a clause in a Prague-Beijing cooperation agreement requiring the Czech capital to respect the “one-China policy”.
In response, Beijing in July ‘indefinitely postponed’ an autumn tour of China by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Now, China has done the same with the chamber music ensemble Guarneri Trio Prague, led by Ivan Klánský, the dean of the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (HAMU).
Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman says no decision has been taken
regarding whether to prosecute Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) over the
so-called Stork’s Nest case, regarding an alleged EU subsidy fraud a
On Monday, the news portal DeníkN reported that State attorney Jaroslav Šaroch had halted the prosecution against Mr Babiš and others. That was only an interim step that must be approved by higher authorities in order to come into force, Mr Zeman said.
As Supreme State Attorney, Mr Zeman has the right to invalidate the decision. He declined on Wednesday to say what the likely outcome would be but expressed regret that a preliminary decision had been made public.
European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen has offered the
Czech Republic’s Věra Jourová a portfolio focused on democracy issues,
Politico reported. The post would concern the rule of law and connected
issues, such as disinformation and hate speech, the news site said.
Ms. Jourová has hitherto been European commissioner for justice, gender equality and consumers. The Prague government has been hoping she receives an economic or trade portfolio during her second stint. Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) reiterated that preference on Wednesday in response to the article.
Politico said the offer on the table could be part of an effort by Ms. von der Leyen to reach out to Central European states, whose leaders have accused the outgoing commission of overly concentrating on the region with regard to rule of law probes.
The Criminal Code may be amended to prevent women prisoners who become
pregnant in jail from being automatically released to care for their
babies, as is now the case.
MPs from the ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš aim to change the law so that courts will decide on a case by case basis whether to release such inmates. They plan to submit the draft proposal to the lower house of Parliament in October.
The move comes in reaction to the recent case of one Petra Janáková, who was sentenced to prison for 30 years for shooting a man and attempting to murder three others.
The 29-year-old was released into civilian life for about 15 months in accordance with current law, which allows pregnant convicts to suspend their sentences until their child’s first birthday.
The Prison Service director said a special facility for pregnant inmates and mothers with children under one year could be established in Světlá nad Sázavou within months of a change in the law.
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