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Pilsen Region

The Pilsen Region – General Information

The Pilsen Region lies in the southwest of the Czech Republic. It borders Karlovy Vary in the northwest, the Ústí Region in the north, the Central Bohemian Region in the northwest and the South Bohemian Region in the east. The longest border is with Germany (Bavaria) in the southwest. The region is ideally positioned between the capital of Prague and western European countries.

The Pilsen Region is the third largest region in the Czech Republic and is the ninth most populous, accounting for 5.4% of the country’s total population. After the South Bohemian Region it is the second most sparsely populated region in the Czech Republic.

The region’s structure of settlement is unbalanced: the metropolitan area of Pilsen connects to small rural areas, while mid-sized towns are lacking. The high number of small settlements is a typical feature of the area. More than four out of five municipalities in the region have fewer than 2,000 residents, and over 30% of the region’s population resides in such small towns and villages.

Area and Population of the Pilsen Region

 

Area

7,649 km2

Population (as of 30 June 2017)

579,179

Population density (people per 1 km2)

75

Municipalities with extended administrative competency

15

Delegated municipal authorities

35

Municipalities

501

Average gross monthly salary (for 1Q-2Q 2017)

CZK 27,693

Unemployment rate (as of 31 August 2017)

2.58%

Further statistics: Czech Statistical Office [in Czech]

 

The City of Pilsen has been the natural centre of the region ever since its foundation. Pilsen was established by King Wenceslaus II in 1295 at the confluence of four rivers – the Radbuza, Mže, Úhlava and Úslava. From the very outset it has been an outstanding trade centre situated at an important crossroads to Nuremberg and Regensburg. Pilsen started to take off as an industrial and technological powerhouse in the mid-19th century and gradually became one of the country’s most important cities. Pilsen is currently the fourth-largest city in the Czech Republic. With over 169,000 inhabitants, it accounts for over 30% of the total population of the Pilsen Region. It also is the seat of the University of West Bohemia and the Bishop’s Residence.

Municipal centres apart from Pilsen include Klatovy, Domažlice, Tachov and Rokycany. Considering the low population density towns like Sušice, Stříbro, Plasy, Kralovice, Horšovský Týn, Přeštice and Nepomuk are also of regional importance.

The Pilsen Region is characterised by its variety of natural conditions. This diversity is caused by the terrain. The border mountain range in the southwest (Bohemian Forest/Šumava and Upper Palatinate Forest) and the Pilsen Valley in the northeast of the region are dominant features of the landscape. The Pilsen Hills and part of the Brdy Hills are other areas that form the region. In terms of waterways, the largest part of the region falls under the Berounka catchment area – the historical districts of Pilsen, Kralovice, Tachov, Domažlice, Rokycany and part of Klatovy. The upper Otava catchment area comprises the district of Sušice and the remainder of the Klatovy district. There are numerous small protected landscape areas. Nature parks have been established to preserve the natural diversity of the landscape.

Pilsen Region ranks in the middle of the country’s regions in terms of economic development, providing 5.5% of the national GDP, and has the 5th highest GDP per capita. This is driven by the economically strong City of Pilsen which, according to estimates, creates nearly two thirds of the region’s GDP.

Mechanical engineering, food processing, the building material and ceramic industry, energy production and distribution and metallurgy are among the most significant industrial sectors in the Pilsen Region. Firms with foreign capital represent 3.4% of the region’s number of industrial businesses, over twice the national average. Within the Czech Republic, the Pilsen Region is a region with a low long-term unemployment rate (4.2% as of 2015). Map of strategic industrial zones. Employment structure by sector.

There are two universities in the Pilsen Region: the University of West Bohemia and the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University Prague. Both universities offer excellent education and the focus of the curricula attracts students not only from the Pilsen Region, but also from beyond the borders of the region and the country.

The Pilsen Region occupies a strategically important position in transit between Eastern and Western Europe. Road transport has the greatest importance in the area of the region. The road network in the region has a distinctive radial system and the city of Pilsen is its most important traffic intersection.
The location of the Pilsen Region is also significant for the development of tourism. Citizens of Germany are one of the main target travel groups; in terms of domestic travel, residents from large Czech cities have made Pilsen a regular destination. Most foreign visitors to the Pilsen Region arrive from Germany after crossing the border at Rozvadov, Folmava or Železná Ruda.

The common border with Bavaria, one of the EU’s most developed regions, which features natural conditions similar to those in Pilsen Region, aroused the need to overcome cross-border socioeconomic differences before the Czech Republic entered the EU. The municipalities in the Czech-German border areas form two Euroregions: Bohemian Forest/Šumava–Bavarian Forest–Mühlviertel and Egrensis.

As a part of the preparations for a regional political system in the Czech Republic in light of the country’s planned entrance into the EU and in compliance with the Regional Development Support Act, eight statistical units were created at the NUTS II level, each of which contains two to three regions. The Pilsen Region occupies part of NUTS II Southwest together with the South Bohemian Region.

Visitors and inhabitants of the Pilsen Region can take advantage of many cultural facilities, including theatres, cinemas, galleries, museums, castles and chateaux. There are also great conditions for sports – tourism and cycling in summer and downhill and cross-country skiing in winter.

Pilsen Region and Public Administration
Pilsen Region is one of fourteen regional administrative units in the Czech Republic. The establishment and activities of the regions have been an important part of the Czech Republic’s public administration since 2000. Regions are independent local governments, which means they are not ruled by the central state, but by an assembly elected by the given region. This was supposed to enable citizens to gain better control of their region and influence what is happening in their local area. The Region tends to the all-around development of its territory and the needs of its citizens. When performing its tasks, it also protects the public interest defined by law and other regulations.

The region as institution has a very similar structure to cities or municipalities. According to Act No. 129/2000 Coll., on Regions, the Regional Assembly is the supreme executive body. The Pilsen Region Assembly comprises 45 members (the number of members is based on the region’s population). Members of the Assembly elect a President of the Region from their ranks – the main official who represents the region and is entitled to act on its behalf. The regional president’s position in the region corresponds approximately to the position of a mayor of a city or municipality. The Assembly furthermore elects a Regional Council (corresponding to the function of a city or municipal council) which prepares documents for Assembly rulings or issues decisions itself in partial matters. The Pilsen Region Council comprises nine members (again, the number of members is based on the region’s population).

The Regional Authority is one of the region’s official bodies. The Regional Authority performs delegated powers, except for in matters that are entrusted to the Regional Assembly or a special body by law. The Regional Authority performs the independent functions imposed on it by the Regional Assembly and aids in committee and commission operations and processes. The functions of the Regional Authority are defined in Section 67 of Act No. 129/2000 Coll., the Act on Regions. The Regional Authority is composed of the Director and employees of the Regional Authority. Regional Authorities are divided into departments and sections.

Municipalities Authorized to Carry out State Administration
A new stage in public administration reform come into effect in the Czech Republic at the beginning of 2003. District authorities were dissolved and replaced with municipalities with extended administrative competency, which perform public administration services. Apart from Pilsen, which has been a statutory city since 1990, state administration in the Pilsen Region is carried out by fourteen other municipalities: Blovice, Domažlice, Horažďovice, Horšovský Týn, Klatovy, Kralovice, Nepomuk, Nýřany, Přeštice, Rokycany, Stod, Stříbro, Sušice and Tachov.

Click here to watch a film about the Pilsen Region.