Czech Republic Overview
Considerable efforts have been made in the country to modernize research infrastructures and to involve companies more in research and development. In close cooperation with Germany, the focus is on the targeted implementation of future topics such as digitization, Industry 4.0 and new materials.
Population / geography
|Country name||Česká republika Czech Republic
|Land area||78,866 km²|
|Population||10,674,723(Estimate / as of July 2017)|
|Life expectancy||Men: 75.8 yearsWomen: 81.9 years
|Population growth||0.12%(2017 estimate)|
|Time zone||UTC + 1 CETUTC + 2 CEST (March to October)|
|Currency||Czech crown (Kč or CZK) / 100 Haléřů (Heller)1 crown = 0.04 euros; 1 euro = 25.40 crowns|
Politics / Administration
|Country name||Česká republikaCzech Republic|
|Form of government||Republic, parliamentary democracy|
|Head of state||President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman(since March 2015).|
|Head of government||Prime Minister Andrej Babiš(since December 2017)|
|Foreign Minister||Tomáš Petříček(since October 2018)|
|Minister of Education / Research Minister||Minister for Education, Youth and Sport Robert Plaga(since December 2017)|
|Houses of Parliament||Two-chamber parliament:
|Ruling parties||Minority government
|Administrative structure||The Czech Republic is divided into 14 districts (“kraj”):
|National holiday||National day October 28th(Establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918)|
State building and current political developments
The Czech Republic is a parliamentary democracy with a bicameral system (House of Representatives and Senate). The head of state is the president, who has been directly elected since 2013. The president’s term of office is five years.
The first official after the founding of the state was the writer and civil rights activist Václav Havel, who died in 2011. He was followed in two terms from February 2003 to March 2013 by the former Prime Minister Václav Klaus. On March 8, 2013, the former Prime Minister Miloš Zeman was inaugurated as Czech President. He is the first Czech president to be directly elected in two rounds. On January 29, 2018, Zeman was appointed for a second term until 2023 by direct election.
The 200 members of the House of Representatives are elected every four years according to proportional representation.
The direct elections to the Senate take place every two years – then 1/3 of the 81 seats in the Senate are put up for election; the term of office of the senators is six years. The last elections to the Senate took place in October 2016. Above all, the Senate plays a decisive role in constitutional amendments and the appointment of constitutional judges. If the House of Representatives is dissolved, the Senate has transitional legislative powers.
The Czech Republic was decentralized at the end of 2003 with the creation of 14 districts (” kraje “). At the same time, local self-government was strengthened. As independent administrative units, the newly created districts have received more powers from the central government and have elected representatives who elect the district captain (” hejtman “) depending on the majority.
The election to the House of Representatives in October 2017 significantly changed its composition and contributed to what is likely to be lasting changes and to the fragmentation of the party landscape. In the local and sub-senate elections in October 2018, the tendency towards a weakening of the traditional, left parties (ČSSD, KSČM) continued. A processing of the electoral slips and a discussion about the future course takes place only with difficulty (in the case of the ČSSD) or not at all (KSČM). The minority government of Prime Minister Andrej Babišhas been in office since June 27, 2018. On July 12, 2018, she received the necessary trust from a majority of 105 MPs. Here the coalition of ANO and the social democratic ČSSD was dependent on the support of the communist KSČM. This was preceded by lengthy government negotiations between Andrej Babiš’s ANO movement and the ČSSD around its chairman Jan Hamáček.