Czech government coalition backs demands of the “Reconstruction of the State” campaign

List of anti-corruption bills demanded by the campaign included in the official coalition agreement
165 out of 200 new deputies signed campaign’s pledge to support 9 laws proposed by the campaign
3 of the anti-corruption laws already proposed by MPs from 3 different parties

Group of 20 Czech non-governmental watchdogs entitled “Reconstruction of the State” achieved a first breakthrough in its campaign for more transparent government and political parties. New Czech center-left government coalition has officially accepted the list of transparency and anti-corruption measures demanded by the Reconstruction of the State campaign. The bills are explicitly mentioned in the coalition agreement in a section of the same title. The contract approved yesterday by the coalition parties, Social Democrats (CSSD), newly formed ANO2011 and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) is expected to become the basis of the future government’s policy statement. For the first time in recent Czech history watchdogs’ demands receive such a wide support from MPs and across most political parties.

Before the general elections in October 2013, active citizens volunteering for the Reconstruction of the State campaign approached candidates across regions and political parties asking them to sign a pledge to support proposed anti-corruption bills ranging from public registry of public contracts to reform of political parties financing or depoliticization of public administration (Civil Service Act). The list of candidates who had signed the pledge was mailed to almost 4 million households across the country. In total, more than 1500 politicians signed the pledge, including many party leaders. 165 of them got elected to the Chamber of Deputies (Lower Chamber) of the Czech Parliament.  Shortly after the elections, 3 of the proposed anti-corruption bills entered legislative process. Thanks to the pressure of campaigners from the Reconstruction of the State, the bills were co-sponsored by more than 50 deputies from both conservative TOP09, Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and ANO2011, a new party formed by a farming and food tycoon Andrej Babis.

„Reconstruciton of the State is the biggest public advocacy  action undertaken in the Czech Republic’s history. We hope to succeed thanks to three elements: list of very specific anti-corruption legal measures, a very broad coalition and the ability to connect citizens and politicians over an imaginary wall. We hope to clear up significantly the muddy waters of the Czech political reality,” says Pavel Franc, CEO of Frank Bold non-profit legal advocacy group and member of the campaign’s steering committee.

 "State capture and massive rent-seeking can be limited by setting clear rules and our campaign aims at that goal", says David Ondracka, director of Transparency International Czech Republic and member of the campaign’s steering committee.

The Reconstruction of the State campaign started in March 2013 as a joint project of 20 Czech anti-corruption and good governance watchdogs, renowned experts, businesses and citizen supporters. The aim is to give political reforms in the Czech Republic a new impetus and pass 9 key measures within 2 years. The project is managed by Frank Bold (a legal and advocacy non-profit, formerly Environmental Law Service) and includes renowned NGOs such as Transparency International Czech Republic, Oživení, Otakar Motejl Fund (funded by Open Society Fund Praha) and Otevřená společnost. Other members are: zIndex, Brnění, Pražské fórum, Zaostřeno, Zelený kruh, Nadační fond proti korupci, Inventura demokracie, Glopolis, Good governance, Naši, Iuridicum Remedium, ProAlt, and Praguewatch.

For more information please contact:

Nikola Hořejš

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