Work detail

Implementation of the EU Pre-Accession Aid in the Czech Republic

Author: Mgr. Pavlína Žáková, PhD (Samková)
Year: 2003 - summer
Leaders: † prof. Ing. Luděk Urban CSc., Jean Monnet Professor
Consultants:
Work type: Dissertations
Language: English
Pages: 177
Awards and prizes:
Link:
Abstract: The thesis we are presenting is devoted to a highly actual issue of the
Czech reality: preparation of the Czech Republic for integration in the
system of Structural Funds of the European Union. This issue belongs
currently to the most frequently discussed topics related to the future
membership of the Czech Republic in the European Union. It is the more
important that it has palpable impacts already before the accession: the
Czech Republic can benefit from the EU budget today already in the framework
of the so-called pre-structural funds. Many institutions as well as regions
in the Czech Republic have had the opportunity to come in touch with the
solidarity principle promoted in the EU. After the accession to the EU, the
Czech Republic will be entitled to receive from the Structural Funds about
six-fold support than it receives today from the pre-structural funds.
The principal objective of the research project was: to explore the
experience of the Czech actors of regional development with the EU
assistance and the state of their preparedness for the Structural Funds,
all on the basis of a good understanding of the background given by the EU
assistence and the Czech regional policy.

In order to achieve this goal, planning of the research project included the
following stages:
1. investigation of the EU pre-structural aid in the Czech Republic,
2. examination of the Czech policy of regional support,
3. questionnaire survey aiming to unveil the role of individual regional
actors in regional development, their hitherto experience with the
implementation of the EU assistance and their preparedness for the advent of
the Structural Funds,
4. analysis of the responses by different scientific methods, including the
traditional poll method and the GUHA method.

The structure of the thesis reflects to a great part the above-given
research plan.
The first chapter is devoted to the EU side of the issue. It describes what
kind of support the European Union has offered so far to the Czech Republic.
Attention is paid to the objectives of the pre-accession support, its scope
and forms, procedures and mechanisms of its implementation, as well as
particular funds and programmes, as they were changing during the time. The
chapter is structured chronologically: it proceeds from the EU assistance
before 2000 to the current system of pre-structural funds. For the reason
of continuity, the final part of the first chapter outlines very briefly
also the system the Czech Republic is going to adhere to in the near future-
the system of the Structural Funds.
The second chapter focuses on the Czech side of the issue: it describes the
effort the Czech Republic and its subjects have made in order to exploit the
opportunities offered by the EU assistance. In 1997, when the perspective of
the EU membership gained discernible contours, a period of great endeavour
began with the objective to prepare the Czech Republic for the EU structural
support. The vision of generous EU funding has been a powerful impetus for
the Czech Republic to make essential changes in its approach towards
regional support. We are going to depict all aspects of regional policy
where adjustments were necessary in order to meet the EU expectations:
legislative framework, institutional framework, territorial setting of
public administration, programming documents, the issue of co-financing of
regional development and the system of statistics.
The character of the first two chapters is predominantly descriptive.
Nevertheless, despite their rather unattractive descriptive nature, both
chapters are seen as indispensable since they provide a necessary
information base for comprehension of the contents of the subsequent
chapters. A great effort has been made to base most of the information on
primary information sources (legislation, official announcements of the
government and ministries, strategic documents etc.).
The third chapter is the core of the thesis. We are going to present a
questionnaire survey which has been carried out with the aim to assess the
role of Czech regional actors in regional development and their hitherto
experience with the EU assistance. The survey focused on three types of
organisations involved in regional development: self-governed Regions,
regional development agencies and municipalities. A thorough analysis of key
findings of the survey will reveal interesting facts about the readiness to
implement the EU regional aid at regional and municipal level.
Two basic methods have been used in to analyse the responses obtained in the
survey. The first analysing tool is the method of relative frequency of
response (plus percentage distribution if possible) - the traditional poll
method used in sociological surveys. Second, an independent analysis has
been carried out using the GUHA method. GUHA (General Unary Hypotheses
Automaton), is an exploratory data-processing method with a considerable
theoretical background. Due to a thirty-year scientific endeavour of the
Czech academic community, GUHA has evolved into a fruitful combination of
logic and statistics. It has been successfully used in applied research in
the Czech Republic and it is gradually gaining attention also abroad.
The fourth and final chapter summarises the key findings of the survey. On
the basis of the conclusions, recommendations will be made aiming at
elimination of major deficiencies encountered by the regional actors in the
implementation of the EU assistance. We will suggest improvements which
might - if realised - increase the efficiency of the EU aid in the Czech
Republic, maximise potential benefits embodied in the EU assistance and
strengthen the absorption capacity at local and regional level.
Downloadable: Dissertation Thesis - Žáková
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