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Country Reports

Czech Republic Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Czechia is governed by a minority coalition comprising the centrist ANO 2011 (ANO) of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and the centre-left Czech Social Democrats (Česká Strana Sociálne Demokratická: CSSD), with the ad-hoc support of the opposition Communist Party. Policy-making is complicated by internal splits within CSSD as well as interference by President Miloš Zeman. Despite this, the government has remained stable and opinion polls indicate that ANO is in a strong position to win re-election at the next general election in October 2021. Since the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus outbreak, IHS Markit has slashed its 2020 GDP prognosis for Czechia. Nevertheless, the breakdown of second-quarter growth was more favourable than expected, triggering an upgrade in our forecast to 6.9% in September. Czechia’s short-term risks are balanced, amid domestic and external uncertainty. After initial success in containing the spread of the virus and reopening the economy, Czechia has since stumbled. Moreover, the country’s reliance on exports (accounting for 76% of its 2019 GDP) represents a key vulnerability. Czech authorities have introduced fiscal and monetary stimulus aimed at supporting companies and individuals. The country began the crisis with ample room on the policy front, with public debt reaching less than 31% of GDP in 2019. Although the unemployment rate remained modest in March–August, a significant increase is expected in the latter months of 2020, with the potential to weaken household consumption even after the social distancing measures are fully eased. Policy-making remains dominated by the response to the COVID-19 virus and related economic consequences. Given the upcoming general election in 2021, substantial tax rises are unlikely. However, more government intervention is likely, and structural reforms aimed at simplifying the business environment, tackling corruption, increasing the effectiveness of the judicial system, and boosting long-term growth potential will not be among the government’s priorities.
Last update: September 18, 2020

Operational Outlook

Czechia's strategic location close to some of Europe's largest markets (particularly Germany), EU membership, low labour costs, strong skill base, and investment-friendly legislative framework benefit the operational environment. Transport infrastructure is good but was neglected in recent years, and the current government’s plans to improve the motorway network have proven slow to implement. Corruption during tender processes will continue to pose obstacles, and red tape and arbitrary bureaucracy are likely in dealings with local government officialdom. Trade unions are generally weak, and long and disruptive labour unrest remains rare.

Last update: September 24, 2020

Terrorism

Moderate

The risk of terrorist attacks staged by Islamist militants remains lower than in Western Europe. Isolated motivations and works of lone individuals, including Czech nationals converted to Islam, would be more probable. In November 2013, a Czech national was convicted for a bomb threat against then-finance minister Miroslav Kalousek. In November 2019, a Slovak national – a convert to Islam – was sentenced to prison for 6.5 years for propagating terrorism. He was allegedly planning a terrorist attack in the Slovak town of Prešov. Should an attack occur, government premises, foreign embassies, and Jewish quarters in the capital, Prague, would be at the highest risk.

Last update: June 20, 2020

Crime

The crime rate has declined steadily in recent years, particularly property and violent crimes. Most crimes are likely to consist of petty property offences, with the rates of violent crime remaining low. However, organised crime represents an issue and Czechia will probably continue to serve as a source, transit, and destination country for human, arms, and drug trafficking. Financial crime and counterfeiting remain problematic, although the number of cases has decreased following government crackdowns. Cyber crime is a problem and is increasingly targeted by law enforcement.

Last update: June 23, 2020

War Risks

Interstate military conflict on Czechia's soil is highly unlikely. The country maintains positive relations with its neighbours. Although some bilateral disputes are present (for instance, the country's ties with Austria and Germany tend to flare up over the issue of the Beneš decrees and the nuclear power plant in Temelín), these are highly unlikely to result in an armed conflict. Czechia is an EU and NATO member and belongs to the regional Visegrad Four (V4) organisation alongside Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia, mitigating the risk further.

Last update: June 20, 2020

Social Stability

Moderate

Until March 2020, when the government imposed restrictions on movement in its response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus pandemic, protest risks primarily stemmed from the ‘Million Moments’ civic group, which has organised a series of anti-government and anti-corruption demonstrations. Despite large participation, these protests were peaceful and would likely remain so if they re-emerge more frequently in the future. Far-right groups tend to organise small-scale but frequent rallies against immigration policy, Roma communities, and LGBT+ pride marches. Environmental activism focuses mainly on the nuclear power plants in Temelín and Dukovany.

Last update: June 23, 2020

Health Risk

Elevated

Vaccines required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Vaccines recommended for all travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines recommended for most travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Vaccines recommended for some travelers

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

The Czech Republic has a continental climate, with hot summers and long, cold, even harsh winters. Temperatures range from 18°C to 26°C in the summer (June to September) and from -3°C to 0°C in the winter (October to March). Temperatures will also vary in mountainous regions where winters are very rainy and snowy. It rains regularly throughout the year.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +420
Police: 158
Fire Dept.: 150
Ambulance: 155

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019