COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Czech Republic/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.6 Other relevant issues

The government of the Czech Republic (CR) also provides support to its compatriots in the field of education and culture. The government adopted a resolution in 2010 to continue the Programme of Support for Czech Cultural Heritage from 2011 to 2015 and approve the legislative framework for the next stage of support for Czech communities abroad. There are two parts to the programme: the Czech Compatriots Educational Programme and Teachers of Czech Language and Literature. The primary objective is to promote and support Czech langage and culture beyond the borders of the Czech Republic.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) supports cooperation with Czech associations all around the world in many different ways, e.g. providing grants for cultural projects, sending textbooks, books and video-cassettes, issuing certificates of membership of Czech diaspora communities, and last but not least, it organises a Czech language course in Dobruška city, CR. Grants are provided for the maintenance and repair of diaspora schools, cultural facilities and small monuments. An information service is also provided for Czech associations around the world along with the international magazine Českélisty. The Ministry also collaborates with the Standing Senate Commission on Compatriots Living Abroad and the Subcommittee on Compatriots of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the CR. The MFA finances the broadcasting of Radio Praha abroad. Radio Praha has operated since 1936 and is particularly focused on the compatriot community. The goal is to provide qualified and objective information on political, economic, cultural and society-wide developments in the Czech Republic. Daily broadcasts take place in English, German, French, Spanish, Czech and Russian. More information is available at: http://www.radio.cz.

The Ministry of the Interior (MI) oversees the integration of Czech compatriots resettling in the CR and provides financial support in this area. The first stage in the resettlement of compatriots took place in 1946-1947 under the administration of the then Ministry of Labour and Social Care. At that time ten thousand compatriots from Ukraine, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Hungary, and also France, Austria, and Germany resettled in the country. Most compatriots were resettled in the border regions and Sudeten region, where many homes were vacated after the expulsion of the Germans. A second wave took place in 1991-1993 under the administration of the then Ministry of Economic Policy and Development. During this wave the state resettled approximately 2000 compatriots for humanitarian reasons from regions in Ukraine and Belarus affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986. These compatriots were settled in a number of locations; many of them made their homes in reconstructed residences vacated with the departure of the Soviet army. The third wave occurred in 1995-2001 under the administration of the MI. During this period compatriots from Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova were resettled with state assistance. The fourth wave, "Conclusion of Resettlement", took place in 2007 under the administration of the MI. This activity involved the resettlement of compatriots from Kazakhstan who for various reasons had not taken advantage of this opportunity in the past.

Resettlement continues, now primarily in response to the conflict in Ukraine. In December 2014 the Czech Republic made 66 million CZK available for the potential resettlement in the Czech Republic of compatriots from around the world, with priority given to the resettlement of Czechs from Ukraine. The programme is coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior. The programme was established in response to applications from several hundred compatriots in Ukraine for resettlement in the Czech Republic. Those who apply for resettlement in the Czech Republic will receive free accommodation for six months to one year, financial assistance, moving assistance, permanent residence status and assistance in obtaining employment and other areas.

The cultural activities of these compatriot communities in the Czech Republic are also provided with support which comes from various sources both public and private.


Chapter published: 28-01-2016

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