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European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Czech Republic
People
Area 78,866km2
Population 10.3 million
Neighbours (border in km) Germany (646), Poland (658), Slovakia (215), Austria (362)
Distribution 66% urban population, 34% rural population
Ethnic profile Czech (94%), Slovak (3%), Polish (0.6%), German (0.5%), Roma (0.3%), Hungarian (0.2%), Others (1%)
Language Czech
Religion Atheist (39.8%), Roman Catholic (39.2%), Protestant (4.6%), Orthodox (3%), Other (13.4%)
Life expectancy Average: 74.1 - 70.8 years (male), 77.7 (female)
GDP/capita 12,498 ECU (PPS) in 1999 (PPS) (Eurostat)
59% of EU-15 average (1999)
General Government budget 2000 Budget: c. EURO 32 billion
Government deficit 9,5% of GDP (2001 forecast)
Trade with EU Surplus: 0.1 billion
Exports to the EU: 17.3 billion
Imports from the EU: 17.4 billion (1999 figures)
Trade balance -1.89 million (1999)
Country information

General

This landlocked country is situated in the geographic centre of Europe and consists of three historical areas – Bohemia, Moravia and the Czech part of Silesia. The Czech Republic is called the roof of Europe since all the rivers which have their source in the area drain into neighbouring countries.

The territory of the Czech Republic was historically one of the most economically developed and industrialised part of Europe. As the only country in central Europe to remain a democracy until 1938, the then Czechoslovakia was among the ten most developed industrial states of the world before the second world war. Coal and lignite are in abundant supply. There are also deposits of mercury, antimony, tin, lead, zinc and iron ore, and a number of major European uranium deposits. Processing industries (machinery, steel, chemicals, glass, and agri-food) are the most highly developed. Cereals, sugar beet and hops are intensively cultivated, although agriculture plays a comparatively small role alongside the traditional engineering and other industries.

The attractiveness of the Czech Republic and especially of its capital city, Prague, lies in a remarkable historical and architectural heritage stretching back over 1 000 years, and brings over 10 million visitors a year to the Czech Republic. Throughout the centuries Prague preserved its unrivalled richness of historical monuments of different styles. Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau and cubism form a unique aesthetic unit. Castles and chateaux built in the past centuries still dominate the Czech landscape. Many monuments of folk architecture, picturesque villages and living traditions of folk music and local folk costumes are typical for the Moravian region.

Czech beverages such as Czech beer or mineral water from more than 900 natural springs (a world record) are extremely popular.

Political overview

After World War II, the political system in Czechoslovakia was greatly affected by the introduction of a Soviet-style Communist regime, as it was in the other countries of central and eastern Europe. The system of power was distorted. In effect this imbalance meant that the three branches of power necessary for democratic development - executive, legislative and judicial - were substituted by a unified Communist power. Its power was based on the constitution and for forty years it ruled all layers of social and political life throughout the country with the help of oppressive institutions. After February 1948, the Communist Party became the only autonomous political entity. It allowed a few other parties to exist within the so-called National Front; however, these parties held no real power and were created to provide an outward image of Czechoslovakia as a democratic state.

After the revolutionary events of November 1989 which brought about the downfall of the Communist regime, the entire country faced the uneasy task of resuming its pre-Communist traditions and building a democratic political system. A wide diversity of political parties were well-established even before the break-up of Czechoslovakia on December 31, 1992. The constitution of the Czech Republic, which became valid on the day of the birth of the new state, explicitly defined civil rights, the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of power, and the independence of the judiciary.

Reports on drugs situation

National Reports

Other documents

Disclaimer © European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 2002
The texts, reports and publications in this section have been provided by the candidate countries' national focal points. The findings, conclusions and interpretations in these documents are those of the authors alone and do not represent the policy of the EMCDDA, its partners, any EU Member State or any agency or institution of the European Union or European Communities.

documents in English     documents in national language

Related Websites
  1. European Commission: Enlargement: Candidate Country: Czech Republic- This page provides an introduction to the Czech Republic's country profile, an overview of of key documents related to enlargement, press releases and interesting links.
    http://europa.eu.int/comm/enlargement/czech/index.htm
  2. Úøad vlády Èeské republiky - The Office of the Czech Republic Government
    http://www.vlada.cz/
  3. drogové informaèní centrum
    http://www.sananim.cz/
  4. Neuropsychofarmakologie a prevence drogových závislostí
    http://www.lf3.cuni.cz/drogy/
  5. Methadonova substituce
    http://www.methadone.cz/
  6. sdruzeni Podane ruce
    http://www.podaneruce.cz
  7. STÁTNÍ ZDRAVOTNÍ ÚSTAV - National Institute of Public Health
    http://www.szu.cz/
  8. EXTC - Podane ruce Brno
    http://www.extc.cz/
  9. Oficiální webové stránky Národního programu boje proti AIDS v CR
    http://www.aids-hiv.cz

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