About the Committee
The Committee discusses individual bills between the first and second readings, mostly discussing bills presented by the Ministry of the Environment on behalf of the Government. The Minister is invited to join the Committee for the discussion of the bill. The Committee discusses acts on water conservation, air conservation, nature and landscape conservation, waste management, agricultural land conservation, state geological service performance, conservation of mineral resources, environmental impact assessment, and the issue of genetically modified organisms and products.
Monitoring the Government
The Committee monitors executive environmental bodies on a very wide level. It discusses conceptual documents submitted by the Government or requested by the Committee itself. The Committee discusses especially the annual Report on the Environment in the Czech Republic, report on the financial management of the State Environmental Fund, and others. The Committee also discusses the Ministry of Environment, State Environmental Fund and Czech Mining Agency budget chapter proposals, as well as chapters of the final state budgetary account of these bodies.
Foreign Relations, European Agenda and International Treaties
The Committee maintains foreign contacts with partner committees in Europe and the world. Foreign contacts, especially with EU member states, are very important, because most of the content of the acts discussed is harmonised through the EU’s secondary regulations. The Committee is kept informed by the Minister of the Environment on the development of environmental legislation on the EU level.
Committee meetings are convened and conducted by the Chairperson, who is obliged to convene a meeting upon the decision of the Chamber of Deputies, or upon a request of at least two-fifths of all the members of the Committee, and must do so within 15 days from such a decision or request. The meeting’s agenda is proposed by the Chairperson and approved by the Committee. If a member of the Committee requests that an additional item be added to the agenda, it must be approved by three-fifths of all the members of the Committee. The Committee’s meetings are open to the public, but it may be proposed that a meeting be declared closed to the public (excluding the public and media). The Committee decides by an absolute majority of the members present.
The Committee on the Environment was first established in the Czech National Council in February 1990, with Pavel Krubl being elected as its Chairperson. In the subsequent electoral term (1990–1992), the Committee also dealt with the issue of urban planning. In 1992–2006, the Committee’s competence was extended to the problems of public administration and regional development. During this period, the Committee discussed the legal reform of all the environmental elements (Water Act, Forest Act, Waste Act, etc.) as well as significant interdisciplinary acts, especially the Environmental Impact Assessment Act. The majority of acts discussed by the Committee were the implementation of EU environmental legislation. Major accomplishments included the adoption of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Act (2002), the Act on the Terms Greenhouse Gas Emission Allowance Trading (2004), etc.
In 2006, the Committee was divided into two separate committees, namely the Committee on the Environment and the Committee on Public Administration and Regional Development.