Czech Citizens Report Dissatisfaction With Condition of The Country’s Roads, Ranking 23rd In EU
The Czech Republic Prosperity Index, a joint project of Česka spořitelna (ČS) and the Europe in Data initiative, shows that the country’s infrastructure is weakened by poor high-speed internet coverage and low levels of digitisation of the state administration, in which the Czech Republic ranked 20th in the EU. Photo credit: Freepik
Czech Republic, July 21 (BD) – The comparative survey of infrastructure quality between EU nations found mixed results for the Czech Republic. The country has the densest railway network in the EU, with 121.25 kilometres of railways per 1,000 square kilometres, ahead of second-placed Belgium (118.15 kilometres) and third-placed Germany (107 kilometres).
However, the country ranks 23rd in the condition of its roads. This indicator is not based directly on the condition of the roads, but on the opinion of the country’s citizens. The Czechs are among the least satisfied citizens in the EU in terms of road quality.
According to the creators of the index, this is a paradoxical situation, because the Czech Republic is among the top when it comes to the share of expenditure on transport. The Czech Republic spends 3.6% of its GDP annually on roads, the third highest in the EU. The situation is almost identical for Slovakia and Hungary, which spend an even higher share of GDP on roads than the Czech Republic, but are also at the bottom of the road quality ranking. According to Petr Moos, former Minister of Transport and current member of the Scientific Council of the Faculty of Transport at the Czech Technical University, one possible reason for this disparity is the unsystematic approach of Czech governments.
An integral part of a country’s infrastructure is its level of connectivity, and how people use it. In the Czech Republic, high-speed Internet access is available in 52.5% of the territory (22nd in the EU). For example, in neighbouring Germany (14th), high-speed Internet covers 74.9% of the territory. According to the index, the availability of high-speed Internet in areas of the Czech Republic with low population density is poor. Here, coverage is only 7%, ahead only of Greece, where such areas are not covered at all. While the EU average for sparsely populated areas is 37%, the best results are in countries such as Malta, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, where coverage is close to 100%. According to operators, passing legislation is an obstacle in the Czech Republic, but insufficient demand also plays a role.
The Czech Republic ranked 20th in the digitisation of the state administration. This figure is based on data from the DESI index, in which individual countries were given scores in categories such as open data, the level of eGovernment for citizens and companies, and the ability to automatically pre-fill forms online. The Czech Republic scored 58.6 points, while Estonia came first with 91.7 points and Romania last with 21.5 points.