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, each year in June, 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 (MŠMT) 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 announces 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 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 Romany 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 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.
A government decision from 2012, "Co-existing in 2012", sets out specific tasks for implementing integration policy (http://www.cizinci.cz).
The Ministry of the Interior (MV) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the CR continuously 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 websites provides access to necessary documents and contacts for state administration and foreigners and it provides necessary information allowing a unified 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.
Between 2004 and 2009 the number of foreign nationals residing in the Czech Republic increased steadily from 193 000 to 425 000 in 2009. In 2010 the number decreased to 417 000. The share of foreign nationals out of the total population in 2010 was 3.97%. Most foreign nationals come to the Czech Republic for work. Most are in the economically most productive age groups. The largest number of foreign nationals is from Ukraine, followed by Vietnam, Slovakia, and Russia. Prague has the largest foreign population. In 2010 the MI documented 15 600 new inhabitants, which is 12 700 fewer than in 2009. The much lower rate of net migration is the result of a smaller number of immigrants (down by 9 500) and a larger number of emigrants (by 3 200). Alongside 2 500 citizens of the CR, the main groups of immigrants were citizens of Slovakia (5 100), Russia (3 700), Ukraine (3 500) and Germany (2 000). Emigrants were mostly made up of citizens of Slovakia (6 400), the Czech Republic (2 400), Poland (2 300) and Germany (1 600).
As of 31 April 2011, the Foreign Police Headquarters in the Czech Republic documented 428 494 foreign nationals, of which 190 666 have permanent residence status and 237 828 have temporary residence status.
Graph 1: Number of foreigners in the Czech Republic - Top 10 citizenships in 2010
Source: Czech Statistical Office, 2011.