Improving the economy and living standards in the Czech Republic after EU accession

21. 04. 2024 | Natalie Bezděková

Analysis shows that since the Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004, its GDP per capita in purchasing power parity terms has improved significantly. While in the year of entry this indicator was 80% of the European average, last year it increased to 91%. It has even surpassed some countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain. Poland and Lithuania, which joined the EU alongside the Czech Republic, have also seen growth, but not as strong.

Petr Zahradník, an analyst at Česká spořitelna, pointed out at the press conference that the Czech Republic reached its peak GDP per capita in 2021 at 93% of the EU average and expressed hope that this level would be surpassed in the future. Real GDP per capita has increased by 40% since 2004, which is very significant progress.

The analysis also shows that the Czech Republic receives on average between 100 and 150 billion crowns a year from the EU budget, which is more than it contributes to the budget. This financial support has been used mainly for regional development and agriculture. Since joining the EU, the Czech Republic has already received over one trillion crowns, which is about 1.2% of GDP per year.

EU accession has significantly reduced the poverty rate in the Czech Republic by almost half, from 20% to 11%, affecting approximately 750 000 people. This progress has been supported by the use of EU funds, particularly for projects in socially excluded localities and to support social entrepreneurship.

Since joining the EU, unemployment in the Czech Republic has fallen from six per cent to less than three per cent, which has had a positive impact on the economy, but has also put upward pressure on wages. This pressure, if stronger than labour productivity growth, can reduce the country’s economic competitiveness.

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Author of this article

Natalie Bezděková

I am a student of Master's degree in Political Science. I am interested in marketing, especially copywriting and social media. I also focus on political and social events at home and abroad and technological innovations. My free time is filled with sports, reading and a passion for travel.


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