The Government and Politics of the European Union

Seventh edition

by Neill Nugent

Czech Republic

Population 10.3 m
Capital Prague
Surface area 77,300 km2
Official Language Czech
Gross domestic product (GDP) (in euros) 198.9 bn
GDP as a % of EU-27, based on 2009 data 1.7
GDP per capita by purchasing power standards (indexed to EU average of 100) 20,538
Currency Koruna (CZK)
Human development index (HDI), an index based on life expectancy, education and GDP (max. 1) 0.891
World rank in HDI 32/177
Key economic sectors Services (56.7); industry (39.6); agriculture (3.7)
Leading companies CEZ (energy supplier)
Unemployment in July 2009 7.1% (source: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table)
Main religious denominations (% of population) Roman Catholic (2.74); Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (1.17); Hussites (1.0)
Political system A semi-presidential system The Chamber of Deputies is elected for a four-year term, while the Senate is elected every six years. The two houses must agree between them on a President, elected for a five-year term.
Electoral system Proportional representation for the Chamber of Deputies; simple majority system in Senate elections
Current (March 2010) leaders President: Václav Klaus (b. 1941), since February 2003
Prime minister: Jan Fischer (b. 1951), since May 2009
Previous leaders: Presidents: Václav Havel (1993-2003)
Prime ministers: Mirek Topolánek (2006-09); Jin Paroubek (2005-06); Stanislav Gross (2004-05)
Joined the EU/EC 2004
Commissioner from country in Barroso II College of Commissioners, and portfolio Stefan Füle (Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy)
Number of MEPs 22/754
Turnout in 2009 EP elections (%) 28.2
Member of eurozone No

Except where a specific reference is inserted, the sources for this profile are either Neill Nugent’s book itself, or Barry Turner (ed.), The Statesman’s Yearbook Online, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. If your library subscribes, you can gain access at
http://www.statesmansyearbook.com