Administrative division of the Czech Republic

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Administrative division of the Czech Republic

Article 99 of the Czech Constitution divides the Czech Republic into Obce (Sg. Obec , municipalities ), which are "elementary self-governing territorial units", and Kraje (Sg. Kraj , regions or districts ), which are "higher self-governing territorial units". The higher self-governing territorial units were established by the Constitutional Act No. 347/1997 Coll. And a constitutional amendment on January 1, 2000. 14 self-governing regions were created. The boundaries of the regions were defined by the area of ​​the Okresy (Sg. Okres ), which were thus dissolved as administrative units (these only play a role for the administrative structure and as LAU-1 level for official statistics).

The distribution of tasks in the Czech public administration follows a model with a dualistic task structure . Tasks assigned to the state are carried out at the local level by the municipalities and regions. The municipalities and regions thus have a so-called own and an assigned sphere of activity.


Since 2000 the Czech Republic has been divided into 14 higher self-governing territorial units, which are known as kraj . In older literature, kraj (Slav. Generally “land, region”) is translated as “ circle ” in the old Austrian sense (see old Bohemian circles , but these were larger than today's Kraje), which is still common today. As a German translation, “district” (i.e. in the Prussian sense of a government district , ie larger than a [district]) occurs. Today, however, both expressions are used for the subdivision of the Kraje, the Okresy , which was called " (political) district " from the time of the monarchy . The expression "region", which some Kraje use in their German-language self-portrayal, is also useful. This designation is also unfavorable because the next larger territorial unit, the oblasti as NUTS 2 level , were Germanised as a "region" (they were introduced today as Regiony [soudržnosti] , cohesion regions, following the parlance of EU cohesion policy the name Oblast is given). The translation "Landesgebiet" (regional district) propagated for Kraj, which expresses the linguistic root, can also be found. In order to avoid confusion, the word Kraj is also used in German as such, especially in proper names.

The regions related to the historical division of the Czech Republic: Bohemia (green), Moravia (blue) and Czech Silesia (ocher)

The regions primarily exercise their own self-government activities, and tasks of state administration in the figurative sense are also assigned to them.

The region is administered by a parliament (zastupitelstvo kraje) . Other organs are the council (rada kraje), the captain (hejtman) and the regional office (krajský úřad). The parliament consists of 45 to 55 representatives depending on the number of inhabitants. It decides in matters of its own sphere of activity (self-administration tasks), in matters of the delegated state administrative activities (state tasks) only insofar as the law provides. The council is the region's executive body and consists of nine to eleven members, depending on the number of inhabitants. Members are the captain, his deputy and other members of the council. The council decides on executive matters of self-government tasks and is responsible to the parliament of the region, in matters of delegated state tasks it only makes decisions insofar as the law provides. The captain represents the region externally. He and his deputies are elected by the regional parliament from among their own ranks. The office of the region consists of the director and the staff. It receives tasks from parliament or the council in the area of ​​its own sphere of activity (self-administration) and, in a figurative sense, exercises state tasks. The director is appointed by the captain with the prior approval of the interior minister.

Map of the Okresy

The borders of the Kraje were defined by the areas of the older Okresy (Sg. Okres ), which roughly correspond to the Austrian political districts and the German districts . In contrast to the German districts, however , the Okresy had no autonomous sphere of activity. Okres is translated as district in accordance with the Austrian administrative tradition in the Czech Republic, today the translation circle also occurs. As of January 1, 2003, the Okresy are no longer administrative units. Their competencies were partly transferred to the regions, but mainly to the municipalities.

The establishment of the Kraje was politically controversial after the fall of the communist regime in 1989 and the current situation was initially often viewed as a failure. It was criticized that the forces are too small and therefore politically too weak. Also that the borders of the Kraje do not coincide with the historical borders between Bohemia , Moravia and Czech Silesia . These demarcations were supposed to prevent, among other things, a regionalism of the Moravians , some of whom demanded autonomy at the beginning of the 1990s.

Listing of the regions

Surname Abbreviation Administrative headquarters Residents Inhabitant / km² Area
Communities map
Hlavní město Praha
(Capital Prague)
PR Praha
1,280,508 2,581 496.03 1 Kraj Hlavni mesto Praha.svg
Středočeský kraj
(Central Bohemian Region)
1,338,982 122 11,014.73 1,146 Stredocesky kraj.svg
Plzeňský kraj
(Pilsen region)
PL Plzeň
578,629 77 7,561.08 501 Plzensky kraj.svg
Karlovarský kraj
(Karlovy Vary Region)
KA Karlovy Vary
296,749 90 3,314.55 132 Karlovarsky kraj.svg
Ústecký kraj
(Aussiger Region)
ÚS Ústí nad Labem
821.377 157 5,334.53 354 Ustecky kraj.svg
Liberecký kraj
(Reichenberg region)
LI Liberec
440,636 139 3,162.96 215 Liberecky kraj.svg
Královéhradecký kraj
(Hradec Králové Region)
KR Hradec Králové
550.804 116 4,758.38 448 Kralovehradecky kraj.svg
Pardubický kraj
(Pardubice Region)
PA Pardubice
517.087 114 4,518.59 451 Pardubicky kraj.svg
Kraj Vysočina
(Highlands region)
VY Jihlava
508,952 75 6,795.63 704 Kraj Vysocina.svg
Jihočeský kraj
(South Bohemian Region)
České Budějovice
638.782 64 10,056.88 623 Jihocesky kraj.svg
Jihomoravský kraj
(South Moravian Region)
JM Brno
1,178,812 164 7,196.3 673 Jihomoravsky kraj.svg
Olomoucký kraj
(Olomouc Region)
OIL Olomouc
633.925 120 5,266.77 398 Olomoucky kraj.svg
Moravskoslezský kraj
(Moravian-Silesian Region)
MO Ostrava
1,209,879 223 5,426.98 299 Moravskoslezsky kraj.svg
Zlínský kraj
(Zlin Region)
ZL Zlín
583,698 147 3,963.54 304 Zlinsky kraj.svg
Source: (as of January 1, 2017)
The usual abbreviation corresponds to the ISO 3166 code , but the latter is noted without special characters.

See also: Flags and coats of arms of the Czech regions


The municipalities (Sg. Obec, Pl. Obce ) are “elementary self-governing territorial units”. In addition to self-government tasks, the municipalities also perform state tasks. In this regard, the parishes are further distinguished according to the extent of exercise. The number of parishes was 6258 at the 2001 census and 6249 at January 1, 2009.

The municipalities with extended scope (Czech obec s rozšířenou působností, abbreviation ORP) and municipalities with a commissioned municipal office (Czech: obec s pověřeným obecním úřadem, abbreviation OPOU) form the third administrative level in the Czech Republic and are an intermediate member of the delegated state administrative activities (performance of the State tasks) between the regions (kraj) and the municipalities.

Municipalities with extended scope

Municipalities with an extended area of ​​activity have more competencies than usual municipalities and also carry them out for other municipalities in a certain area. The number of municipalities with an extended sphere of activity is 205. Municipalities with a commissioned municipal office differ from municipalities with an extended sphere of activity in that they have a smaller sphere of activity and a smaller number of state tasks. Number of these parishes is 389.

The establishment of the municipalities with extended scope and the municipalities with a commissioned municipal office was decided in Act No. 314/2002 Coll. The affiliation of the municipalities to the two administrative units was specified in the regulation of the Ministry of the Interior No. 388/2002 Coll. By naming them.

Municipalities can also use the designation město (town) or městys (market town). See the List of Cities in the Czech Republic and the List of Městys in the Czech Republic .

Below the community level there are more than 13,000 cadastral communities , which are not administrative units, but districts .

Creation of today's administrative structure

The current administrative structure of the Czech Republic developed after the political change in 1989 from the administrative structure of communist Czechoslovakia . This structure consisted of three levels of national committees in the municipalities, districts and counties. The National Committees were originally formed as revolutionary organs in the course of the restoration of the state at the end of World War II , and later established as regular administrative organs with the communist constitution of 1948. In the constitution of the Czechoslovakia from 1960, the national committees were anchored as organs that exclusively served the local exercise of centralized state authority and had no decision-making authority of their own.

After the political change in 1989, public administration was again divided into state administration and local self-government in 1990. The parishes became elementary units of self-government. The county national committees (krajský národní výbor) were abolished, so that the "old" Kraje lost their administrative function (but were not dissolved). The district national committees (okresní národní výbor) were transformed into district offices (okresní úřad) . The district offices remained executive organs of state administration and the districts did not become self-governing territorial units. The abolition of the "old" Kraje as an administrative unit increased the influence of the central state authorities. In the following years there was intense discussion about decentralization by introducing a higher self-governing unit.

After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the division of public administration was enshrined in the new Czech constitution from 1992. The administrative activity was carried out directly by the state on the one hand (district offices) and on the other hand by the regional self-government units (municipalities). The Constitutional Law No. 347/1997 Coll., Higher self-governing territorial units (vyšší územní samosprávné celky) were introduced. On January 1, 2000, 14 new administrative territorial units were created, which are also referred to as kraj , but are more often translated into German as a region . The boundaries of the new regions are clearly similar to the district division from 1949 to 1960. With the introduction of the regions, the competencies of the district offices (okresní úřad) were reduced. In 2003 the district offices were abolished. Some of their competencies have been assigned to the regions, but mainly to the municipalities. The exercise of state administrative activities was thus also transferred to the regions and municipalities.

The seven districts (“old” Kraje) established in 1960 and the districts (Okresy) continue to exist as territorial units, but no longer have an administrative function. The districts are still used by some state institutions (e.g. courts, public prosecutors) and also serve as a statistical unit. The judiciary continues to use the seven “old” Kraje established in 1960 for its district courts, the same applies to the regional authorities of the public prosecutor's office. Some authors cite the two co-existing upper courts in Prague (for Bohemia ) and in Olomouc (for Moravia ) as the surviving remnants of the even older division into countries .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Ústavní zákon č. 347/1997 Sb. O vytvoření vyšších územních samosprávných celků ao změně ústavního zákona České národní rady č. 1/1993 Sb., Ústava České republiky (German Constitutional Act No. 347/1997 Sb. On the creation of higher self-governing territorial units… , pdf ,
  2. ^ According to the official German website of the South Moravian Region ( .
  3. In Germany and Austria are also historical reasons printouts county and district respectively opposite occupied, in Germany's government district to the district located in Austria, the historic district of the monarchy period over the political district .
  4. The German translation as "Region" is a back translation from English, where this term was introduced for lack of other expressions. Most Kraje began to use this term as a German translation, which often leads to confusion with the general term in German.
  5. There is also no uniform German translation for the word Oblast ; see. and Correspondence tables> National structures (EU) .
  6. for example: Alena Vídeňská: Comparison of Czech and German advertising material from the South Moravian region . Diploma thesis, Masarykova univerzita, Brno 2011, (PDF).
  7. In particular, because the Kraje themselves do not have a noun name, but are named adjectivally in the form Jihočeský kraj ("South Bohemian Kraj"). So you are usually forced to translate the actual proper name (if you want to avoid transformations like "[region] Jihočesko"). Only the Kraj Vysočina ("highlands") has a name of the former form, in which one could omit the administrative form, or one could speak of "Vysočina region".
  8. POČET OBYVATEL V OBCÍCH. Retrieved September 24, 2017 (Czech).
  9. ( MS Excel ; 2.1 MB).
  10. ( MS Excel ; 1.1 MB).
  11. Act No. 314/2002 Coll. On the definition of the municipalities with extended scope and the municipalities with a commissioned municipal office. ( Zákon č. 314/2002 Sb., O stanovení obcí s pověřeným obecním úřadem a stanovení obcí s rozšířenou působností ).
  12. Ordinance No. 388/2002 Coll. On the determination of the administrative districts of the municipalities with an extended scope and the municipalities with a commissioned municipal office. ( Vyhláška č. 388/2002 Sb., O stanovení správních obvodů obcí s pověřeným obecním úřadem a správních obvodů obcí s rozšířenou působností ).
  13. The greatest difference between the borders of the districts from 1949 to 1960 and those of today's regions is in the newly formed Central Bohemian Region . Law No. 280/1948 Coll. On regional division, Zákon č. 280/1948 Sb., O krajském zřízení ( Memento of the original from April 2, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF) contained a division into only 13 territorial units. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  14. Act No. 36/1960 Sb. On the territorial organization of the state ( Zákon č. 36/1960 Sb., O územním členění státu ).
  15. The seven districts ("old" Kraje) are: Středočeský kraj ("Central Bohemian District") based in Prague , Jihočeský kraj ("South Bohemian District") based in České Budějovice , Západočeský kraj ("West Bohemian District") based in Pilsen , Severočeský kraj (“North Bohemian District”) with its seat in Ústí nad Labem , Východočeský kraj (“East Bohemian District”) with its seat in Hradec Králové , Jihomoravský kraj (“South Moravian District”) with its seat in Brno and Severo Moravian District “) Based in Ostrava .