Czech Republic

The 2016 MoD budget, higher by CZK 4 billion when compared to a year before (2015), reached the CZK 47.78 billion (see chart below), which after the subtraction of the total MoD revenues (insurance & tax revenues & non-tax revenues, capital revenues and transfers received), accounted for CZK 42.65 billion. The already approved budget for 2017, reflects a further increase to CZK 52.54 billion, while forecasts for 2018 raise this figure to CZK 57.24 billion.

The Czech Republic is a landlocked state; it shares borders with Germany to the northwest, Poland to the northeast, Austria to the south and Slovakia to the southeast. The capital and largest city is Prague, concentrating about 12% of the 10.5 million (2015 data) of the total Czech population.

The country has undergone significant transitions, characterised by the “Velvet revolution” in 1989 (end of the communist regime and emergence of a new non-communist government), the “Velvet Divorce” in 1993 that separated the former Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and finally the socioeconomic transformation that took place during those years. All the aforementioned, have occurred under massive peaceful demonstrations and no violent actions, creating a significant political and social consensus that certainly smoothed the consequences of a relative strenuous social situation. Therefore, the Czech Republic managed to preserve its position as one of the most stable and prosperous post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe.

Despite the negative effects of the political and socioeconomic transition, the above led to the creation of a new state structure; the separation of Czechoslovakia was forecasted as the start of an era of high economic growth for the Czech Republic, as the country would not need to support the less developed Slovakia. Confirming the predictions, the Czech Republic can be proud today, as being one of the richest and most promising post-communist economies.

According to the United Nations’ Human Development Index Report (2015), the Czech Republic ranked 28th among 188 countries –Slovakia ranks lower in 35th position-, with an index value of 0.87, placing the country in the very high human development category. Despite the better performances in HDI ranking, when compared to the previous two decades, inequalities still remain high; indicative is the fact that the 2014 Gini coefficient was 0.262 for the Czech Republic. However, total unemployment (as a % of the labour force), seems to be lower by 1.2%, when compared with the average of OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.