Czech regions qualify for continued EU aid

New figures suggest all of the Czech Republic outside the capital should qualify for continued EU regional aid

The whole of the Czech Republic  outside of the capital, Prague, comes in below the 75 percent EU average wealth ceiling and should therefore qualified for continued EU funding, according to the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ).

“The findings, which were published using data provided by the Czech Statistical Office confirm that for the successive period all the regions of the Czech Republic with the exception of the capital city Prague will have the possibility to source finances from European Union funds,” the ČSÚ said in a statement on Wednesday, referring to the latest wealth tables drawn up by the European statistics office, Eurostat.

Worries had been expressed that some Czech regions, in particular the Central Bohemia region surrounding Prague, might come in over the 75 percent wealth level which would have disqualified them  from seeking EU funds over the next funding period from 2014-2020. Central Bohemia’s wealth is evaluated at 74.3 percent of the EU average with the south-east of the country, already seen at risk, at 72.8 percent of the average.

Most of the other Czech regions designated for EU funding purposes come in well short of the three-quarters average EU wealth mark, the poorest being central Moravia at 64.1 percent  of the average, the north-west of the country at 64.2 percent, north-east at 66 percent, Moravia-Silesia region at 67.9 percent and south-west at 70.2 percent.  

Prague was rated the seventh richest area in the EU as regards the population’s local purchasing power, standing at 175 percent of the EU average, behind the Paris region and Bratislava, in fifth and sixth places respectively, and ahead of Stockholm in eighth place. The rankings are based on 2009 statistics.

In spite of the fact that most Czech regions seem to qualify for continued EU aid, Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrat, ODS) has come out for a radical redrawing of how EU funding is allocated in the 2014-2020 period although final decisions of how this might happen have still to be thrashed out.