4.1 Main cultural policy issues and priorities
The allocation of 1% of the state budget expenditure for the field of culture is a part of the policy statement of every government in the Czech Republic (CR) regardless of political party. But this target has never been reached and currently the expenditure figure is about 0.6% of the state budget, excluding allocations to churches, which are still part of the culture budget.
Since 2009 the economic crisis and the state budget deficit have had serious impacts on the Ministry of Culture's system of subsidies, and in 2012 the effects cut even deeper. Cultural policies in the CR and other plans in the field of culture have never been fulfilled. Similar problems occur on the level of the regions and municipalities and therefore less attention is paid to culture than to other fields like economics.
Support for culture in the life of the CR is the main topic of professional discussion. Nevertheless, professionals have very little knowledge of strategic materials, including the National Cultural Policy.
The CR has a very dense network of cultural facilities and a very rich cultural heritage. The infrastructure of non-governmental organisations is very diverse as well. This represents an opportunity but also a big commitment. Support for cultural heritage has always been a priority of all cultural policies. The National Cultural Policy is currently more open to the support of creative and cultural fields - i.e. the arts, as a part of the future national cultural heritage.
The new government of the CR in August 2010 adopted its Government Policy Statement, in which it lays out its priorities in the field of culture. It interprets culture as a factor in the development of society as a whole and as a positive factor influencing quality of life and the formation of national identity and even cultural capital. The government wants to tighten oversight of the use of financial researches in state budgetary organisations, it wants to advance maximum effective co-operation between the state, the regions and the municipalities. The cultural potential of the country is an important source of the education of citizens. The government will support the use of modern technologies, especially digitisation, and will endeavour to ensure the widest possible access of the public to information on culture, with a special emphasis on the treatment of heritage. The government will endeavour to draw on the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and promoting the sovereignty of Czech cultural policy.
The government will address concept materials by sector aimed at the development of museums and galleries and a more effective conservation of traditional folk culture and approach to heritage. The government will devote special attention to issues connected with the material, technical and spatial conditions of the work of the national heritage institutions under the MC. It will also strive to improve the standing of Czech film in the world and make the CR more attractive for domestic and foreign film producers. The government will submit a Bill on Cinematography. The government plans to launch a discussion on transforming the media councils of public media and advancing changes in the system of elections of representatives of media councils so that the professional community has a greater say in the nominations.
The government will continue to prepare amendments to the copyright legislation to ensure that it fully conforms to European and international copyright law. The government recognises the historical and irreplaceable position of the church and religious societies as traditional institutions that are part of society. The aim of the government is to conclude as quickly as possible the issue of settlement between the state and church and religious societies so that past injustices can be rectified and religious societies can fulfil their function independently of the state.