10 years in the eu

10 years in the European Union

On 1 May, 2004 the Czech Republic and nine other candidate countries joined the EU in the block’s biggest ever expansion, bringing the number of member states to 25 and the EU’s inhabitants to 450 million. The block’s expansion eastward, which was to erase the divisions of the Cold War and the economic asymmetry on the Old Continent, brought many challenges both for the old and new members. Ten years on, Radio Prague and Radio Slovakia International look at how the Czechs and the Slovaks, who joined the EU as independent states, have fared in the alliance and how well they have used the potential afforded by EU membership.

 

Radio Prague articles:

How has 10 years of EU membership impacted Czech society?

Photo: European CommissionPhoto: European Commission As Czechs mark 10 years in the EU, much of the debate has focused on the material benefits of membership. But what about the less tangible aspects of the country’s accession to the bloc? In this special report, we explore some of the ways “re-joining Europe” has affected Czech society. More...

Campaigning in European elections: lackluster and low-cost

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK Elections to the European Parliament are just over three weeks away, but as far as campaigning goes there is little to show for it in the Czech Republic. Low-cost campaigns and a notable lack of debate on European issues precede what look to be the lowest-profile elections in 2014. More...

Economic crisis, negative media reports and self-protecting attitudes undermining public trust in EU institutions

Photo: European CommissionPhoto: European Commission An opinion poll conducted by the STEM agency in February of this year shows that trust in EU institutions has dropped to an all-time low, sliding from 60 percent in 2009 to a mere 34 percent this year. The dramatic slump in support comes at a time when the new center-left government has announced a change of course –vowing to bring the Czech Republic back to the EU mainstream. More...

Czech government pledges to bring the country back to the European mainstream

Petr Drulák, photo: CTKPetr Drulák, photo: CTK In its policy statement approved this week, the new centre-left government promises to bring the Czech Republic back to the EU mainstream, reaffirm its commitment to EU integration and take a more active part in shaping the EU’s future. More...

Euro adoption back on the agenda for the Czech Republic

Photo: Štěpánka BudkováPhoto: Štěpánka Budková For most of the Czech Republic’s 10-year membership of the European Union, the single currency euro has been regarded with at best reserve and at worst the sort of suspicion you would set aside for your biggest enemy. With a new president and the new centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka, the attitude has switched again and now might be characterized as cautiously positive. More...

Czech industry grapples with EU climate and carbon proposals

Photo: Alena PalečkováPhoto: Alena Palečková If you want to get a Czech industrialist really inflamed, just mention the word renewables and you should succeed. Manufacturers and the Czech government are now preparing for a fight over European proposals seeking more efforts by countries to curb their carbon footprints and increase their use of renewable energy sources. The outcome looks far from clear. More...

 

Radio Slovakia International articles:

Bratislava is richer than Stockholm and far, far away from Eastern Slovakia

At the end of last year of the Department of Human Geography of the Comenius University in Bratislava, the Infostat and the Prognosis Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences issued a complex prognosis on the demographic evolution of Slovakia’s regions until the year 2035. Its findings point to the fact that the economic gap between this country’s poorer and richer regions is not closing despite billions of euro poured into regional development in the past ten years since Slovakia joined the European Union. Anca Dragu of Radio Slovakia International reports.

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A success story? Not for Slovak farmers

Photo: Barbora KmentováPhoto: Barbora Kmentová Caught between seemingly disadvantageous subsidies schemes set up in Brussels and local consumers in love with discounts, cooperatives that still dominate the Slovak agriculture did not have a happy decade since the country joined the EU. Younger smaller farmers, however, are more optimistic. Anca Dragu of Radio Slovakia International reports.

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Questions of European and national identity

Photo: European CommissionPhoto: European Commission Joining a multinational political organization might raise sudden concerns also in the field of preserving or losing one owns national identity. People tend to be proud of the symbols that represent their nation state, but when the European union steps in with new flag, anthem and currency, the issue of a distinct national pride gets on the table again. Zuzana Botiková spoke about this phenomena with Michal Vašečka, sociologist from the Masaryk University in Brno.

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