Cover Osteuropa 4-6/2021

In Osteuropa 4-6/2021

Regions in the Czech Republic
Regional Policies in East Central Europe: a comparative approach

Stanislav Balík

Deutsche Fassung


Regions are an important administrative structure between the municipality and the nation-state. They share responsibility for providing general public services on a daily basis and for maintaining infrastructure. EU regional policy presupposes that member states consist of large regions that can function and absorb fi-nancial resources from Brussels. Sometimes, regions contribute significantly to the formation of people’s identity. The Czech districts have nothing in common with the historical regions of the Czech lands. Their power to form identity is weak. The distribution of tasks between the regions and the central government is confusing. There is a lack of financial autonomy that exposes just how little importance officials in Prague attach to the political work of the regions. The goal of national and European regional policy to eliminate regional differences in living standards has so far failed. This also applies to regional policy in Slovakia and Poland.

(Osteuropa 4-6/2021, pp. 131–146)