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The Czech Republic

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2009 final - Not published in Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 708 final - Not published in Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 503 final - Not published in Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 703 final - Not published in Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1746 - Not published in Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1402 - Not published in Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1200 - Not published in Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

In its July 1997 Opinion, the European Commission took the view that the Czech Republic should not have major problems in the area of education, training and youth with a view to its accession.

The November 1998 Report broadly confirmed this initial assessment.

The October 1999 Report emphasised that the Czech Republic had achieved progress in this area by adopting legislation and participating in Community programmes. A youth policy had also been adopted, laying down objectives until 2002.

The November 2000 Report noted that the Czech Republic had continued to make progress in implementing the legislation adopted in this field, particularly in education, training and participation in Community programmes. It had also made progress in the education of children from socially and culturally disadvantaged backgrounds, although the situation concerning the education of the children of migrant workers had not changed.

In January 2000, the government had approved the national programme on developing sport for all.

The November 2001 Report stated that the Czech Republic had continued to make progress in decentralising the education and training system. However, it also noted that Parliament had rejected the new School Act.

The October 2002 Report emphasized that the Czech republic had made substantial progress in this area, but additional efforts were needed in terms of the practical implementation of the new provisions on the education of children of migrant workers.

The November 2003 Report reaffirms what was said in the 2002 Report.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

The EC Treaty provides that the Community shall:

  • contribute to the development of quality education which shall include a European dimension and shall support and supplement the action of the Member States while respecting their cultural and linguistic diversity (Article 149, ex Article 126) with regard to the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems;
  • implement a vocational training policy which shall support and supplement the action of the Member States (Article 150, ex Article 127) and shall aim to facilitate adaptation to industrial changes and increase employability.

These provisions are being implemented mainly through three major action programmes (Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth for Europe) recently updated by a new generation of programmes (Socrates, Leonardo and Youth).

EVALUATION

A new law on Higher Education in force since January 1999 provides for the establishment of private higher education establishments and creates the conditions for the development of the non-university sector. It also deals with the quality of university administration. This law was amended in 2001, making it compulsory to complete undergraduate studies before beginning postgraduate studies.

The Czech Republic provides an overall framework for youth policy, incorporating the goals and principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It also deals with the issue of Roma children, in a document which is vague as regards responsibilities and the timetable involved and mentions no specific funding.

Since 1 October 1997, the Czech Republic has been successfully participating in the Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth programmes.

On the whole, the Czech Republic made good progress in the area of training during 2000, having set up an institutional framework encompassing, inter alia, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the local authorities and a council of higher education institutions. The Czech Republic has also made progress in decentralising the education and training system to the regions and local councils. However, the new draft School Act was rejected by the Parliament in May 2001.

Further progress is needed in recognising the qualifications of foreign workers in education, mutual recognition of the professional qualifications of the regulated professions and education of the children of migrant workers. In addition, the school-leaving examination system needs to be reformed and tests must be adapted to the needs of children with disabilities.

Progress has been made in the education of children from socially and culturally disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom are of Roma origin. In February 2000, an amendment to the School Act entered into force, significantly improving the Roma community's access to higher education. Moreover, the law on minority rights, adopted in May 2001, gives all minorities the right to be educated in their own language. To this end, a new Roma cultural and educational centre has been set up in Breclav. However, the Directive on the education of migrant children has yet to be transposed into national law. The Czech Republic must ensure that this Directive is implemented properly, which is not yet the case.

Since the Commission's 1997 Opinion, the Czech Republic has made regular progress. Negotiations on this chapter have been provisionally closed (see the 2002 Report). The Czech Republic has not requested any transitional arrangements in this area.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

 
Last updated: 03.03.2004
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