EU helps the Czech Republic improve business environment

And talking about EU assistance to the Czech Republic, the Delegation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic has recently announced a new twinning project between Italy and the Czech Republic entitled "Improvement of Legal and Institutional Environment for Business". The aim of the project is to create a better business environment and better administration efficiency in this area.

The project, which will end in November 2002, has a total budget of approximately 1.2 million euros and is financed by the European Union's Phare programme. Due to the wide range of areas covered, involving the Ministries of Finance, Justice, and Trade and Industry, it is considered a very important twinning project. Roberto Ulisi is the Director General of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance and the head of the project for the Italian side. The project will consist of supporting the drafting of the new Insolvency Act, in solving problems of interconnection between the business and commercial registers, in simplifying and improving the administrative procedure for starting business activities, in assuring that the Czech legal framework on the right of establishment and the freedom to provide services is entirely in compliance with the acquis communautaire and, finally, in advising the government on the introduction of the new Regulation on the European Company in the Czech legal framework. These are issues where reform has been expected for a long time by the business community and the Czech public administration. According to Mr. Ulisi, the bureaucratic procedures connected with starting up a business in the Czech Republic are among the most annoying aspects of doing business here: The Italian government, which is currently completing some important reforms in the same areas, will provide assistance to the Czech authorities through two Pre-Accession Advisors backed up by more than 50 experts chosen among university professors, High Court and bankruptcy judges, leading international and European lawyers and high officials of various departments of the Italian Public Administration. Mr. Ulisi said it was necessary to join two approaches in order to achieve the goals of the project: The European Commission finances Twinning within the Phare Programme. The aim of Twinning projects is to help the candidate countries strengthen their institutional and administrative capacity in preparation for EU membership. Twinning is a mechanism for the direct transfer of knowledge and experience in applying EU legislation and practice from member states to the candidate countries. But as Mr. Ulisi pointed out, the twinning project is not just about legislation: