Categories: Case study, Location: Czechia, Date: August, 2019
Coal plays an important role within the Czech Republic’s energy system: in 2017, almost 50% of electricity was produced with coal, while roughly 75% of heating is dependent on coal. Despite this, the country has seen - as many European countries have - a strong decline in coal mining over the last 15 years, and an even stronger decline of coal mining jobs. In the past, this process has been strongly driven by economic and technological factors. The result has put economic pressure on the Czech coal mining regions of Karlovy Vary and Usti in the north-west of the country and Moravia Silesia in the east. Against this backdrop, the Czech government decided to implement a national strategy to support structurally disadvantaged coal regions: the RE:START Strategy. The initiative was started in 2015. The first three years largely focused on developing a strategic framework, gathering information, assessing the needs of regions, and setting up an effective governance structure. Currently, the emphasis is shifting increasingly to implementation in the regions. The Strategy is led by the Ministry of Regional Development, which has established a National Executive Team who serves as a management authority and governs the Strategy together with their advisory team and their regional counterparts (in yellow in Figure 1). The National Executive Team acts as a link between the various working groups and the national government. It gathers input on needs and capacity for transition in the regions and recommends measures and policies to the ministries for implementation.