4.2.4 Cultural diversity and inclusion policies
Ethnic minorities are defined as citizens of the Czech Republic (CR) claiming nationality other than Czech. Foreigners are defined as people with other than Czech citizenship.
The definition of the term ethnic minority and member of a national minority is described in Act No. 273/2001 Coll. According to this Act, the Government Council for Ethnic Minorities was established as an advisory and initiative body for issues connected with ethnic minorities and their members and the protection of minority languages. The chairperson of the Council is also a member of the Government of the CR. There are 30 members of the Council, e.g. the vice-ministers of finance, culture, education, labour, interior, justice and foreign affairs and 12 ethnic minorities – Bulgarian, Croatian, Hungarian, German, Polish, Roma, Ruthenian, Russian, Greek, Slovak, Serbian and Ukrainian.
Since 2002, once a year, the Council submits the "Report on the Situation of Ethnic Minorities in the CR" to the government. It contains reports from all the ministries involved, bodies of local and regional government, representatives of ethnic minorities in the Council and other background information. Since 2002, the Report has changed mostly in connection with ratification of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages in the CR. A greater proportion of the Report is dedicated to applying ethnic-minority policy on the local and regional level – specifically, to the implementation of the Charter.
Ethnic minorities are supported mostly through subsidy programmes in the state budget (Ministry of Culture (MC), Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MEYS) and the Office of the Government of the CR) and is divided up thematically into the following programmes:
The Office of the Government of the CR maintains the following support programmes:
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports run three programmes in the field of education:
The MC has three programmes:
In addition to these three programmes the MC provides state subsidies for activities of ethnic minorities, for instance, as part of its programme Library of the 21st Century, and which are intended for libraries for working with ethnic minorities and for the integration of foreigners and subsidies aimed at supporting multi-ethnic activities in the field of culture, the aim of which is to promote cultural dialogue and shared knowledge of different cultures within the framework of other grant competitions.
The MC also is also responsible for the Museum of Roma Culture in Brno.
Programmes in the field of culture and education are also addressed to other minorities such as the Jewish or Vietnamese communities. Projects by civic associations of these minorities are supported as well as the Jewish Museum in Prague. The Ministry of Culture also manages the organisation Terezín Memorial, which carries out research and educational activities on the Holocaust.
The Concept for the Integration of Foreigners was first adopted by the government in December 2000; the most recently updated version is from 2011. Integration means the process of including foreigners in society, a reciprocal process which involves necessarily foreigners themselves and also the majority society. The Concept from the start has envisioned the involvement of several ministries. Coordination of the Concept is in the hands of the Ministry of the Interior of the CR, which each year also submits to the government a Report on the Implementation of the Concept. The updated Concept is based on an analysis of the current situation and of problems identified in the field of the integration of foreigners and it specifically outlines the goals of this policy.
An updated statement of specific tasks for implementing an integration policy is provided in the Government Resolution Living Together 2013 (http://www.cizinci.cz/).
The Ministry of the Interior (MI) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the CR regularly update their joint website Foreigners in the CR (http://wwww.cizinci.cz), which also provides access to Information Publications for foreigners in 7 language versions. The website provides access to necessary documents and contacts for state administration and foreigners and it provides necessary information for following a uniform process for achieving the integration of foreigners in the CR.
The Czech Statistical Office elaborates and publishes statistical data on the number of foreigners in the CR, their location in the regions, classification according to sex, citizenship, age, type and purpose of stay in the CR, asylum procedure of foreigners, their economic activity and other data. Statistics take into account only those foreigners residing legally in the CR.
A comparison of the number of foreigners in the Czech Republic in 1993 and 2009 shows a steady increase from 70 000 to 436 000 in 2011. Foreigners accounted for 3.97% of the total number of people residing in the CR in 2010. The majority of foreigners come to the CR for work. Most of them are in the most economically productive age groups. The largest number of foreigners is from Ukraine, followed by Vietnam, Slovakia, Poland, and Russia. Most foreigners live in Prague.