ALERT: Українці, увага! Тут ви можете знайти важливі посилання з інформацією про ваше перебування в Чеській Республіці.

Published on May 13, 2024 News

The Czech Republic celebrated the 20th anniversary of its membership in the European Union. How does the Ombudsman help EU citizens?

The Ombudsman helps EU citizens in various areas and situations, for example when they are disadvantaged at work, when they are claiming parental allowance or pensions or if their children have not received enough language support at school. EU citizens or their family members can ask the Ombudsman for help when they experienced unequal treatment due to their nationality. For more information about the Ombudsman's assistance to EU citizens, see the Ombudsman's website.

Since 2018, the Ombudsman has been helping EU citizens in the Czech republic and thereby contributing to the right of free movement of EU citizens. He is monitoring the rights of EU citizens in the Czech republic as well as the rights of Czech citizens who have returned from abroad. Similar bodies promoting equal treatment and supporting workers in the European Union and their family members are mandatory in all EU states. A list of these bodies is available on the European Commission's website. Thus Czechs living abroad can rely on the fact that there is a body in each EU country and they can contact its office when they need help.

"Being the member state of the EU we have been able to influence European politics for the past 20 years and we have become a major player on the political map of the world. We are part of internal EU market – one of the largest economic units in the world. Our businesses can sell their products and services in other countries. People can move and settle across Europe as they wish. They can live in other countries without complicated formalities and conditions. On the other hand then they can return to the Czech Republic without any problems. Nevertheless, citizens of the European Union face a number of problematic situations as well. I would like to assure EU citizens that they can turn to us and ask for help. We will explain them their rights and advice them how they can defend themselves in a given situation," Ombudsman Stanislav Křeček said.

To get a better picture of what EU citizens living in the Czech Republic are concerned about and what they are facing, the Ombudsman organized a wide-ranging survey in 2021. This has produced a range of useful information and revealed problematic areas that could be improved. For example, the research showed that EU citizens faced problems mainly in job search, job allocation and pay for work. Workers in the least skilled jobs were more likely to experience this. However, anti-discrimination law prohibits discrimination against employees from other EU Member States in terms of access to and conditions of employment.

Furthermore, the research revealed that foreigners in the Czech Republic often work in positions below their level of education and qualifications or that their lack of knowledge of Czech is often a "trigger" for discrimination. Almost two thirds of EU citizens working in the Czech Republic who felt disadvantaged did not take any defensive action. Most of them did not believe that their protest would make a difference. Therefore the Ombudsman has issued a set of recommendations for ministries and authorities, as well as municipalities and regions to improve life conditions EU citizens in the Czech Republic.


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