COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Financing to the culture sector in 2013 was 7.1% less than for 2012.

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Czech Republic/ 6. Financing of culture  

6.1 Short overview

The development of overall expenditure of the division related to culture within the Ministry of Culture in 2004–2014 is included in the following Table.

Table 5:    Total expenditure of the Ministry of Culture, in thousands CZK, 2004-2014

Year

Total expenditure

2004

6 549 237

2005

6 497 302

2006

7 095 092

2007

8 909 779

2008

8 844 329

2009

8 411 947

2010

8 248 384

2011

7 294 982

2012

8 422 123

2013

8 886 694

2014

10 415 749

Source:    Ministry of Culture – including expenditures on the activities of churches and religious societies and European funds

In 2004-2008, there was a year-on-year increase of Ministry of Culture expenditure (without extra budgetary sources) with the exception of 2008 and 2009 when there was the order for the ministry not to spend part of finances in the specific year by the Act on Budgetary Rules. Stagnation of expenditure between 2004 and 2005 was caused by the fact that the budget for culture did not include funding (129 607 000 CZK) for the programme of supporting regional libraries. The money was transferred to the regional budget in connection with the amendment of the Act on Budgetary Allocation of Revenues. The highest increase of total expenditure was recorded between 2006 and 2007. The increase in expenditure in 2007 was projected in expenses for financing the new programme of care for national cultural heritage. Large projects have commenced in this investment programme – such as the reconstruction of the main building of the National Museum, a new building for the National Library, reconstruction of Klementinum and others. The increase in the budget in 2007 allowed significant enforcement of financing the programmes for support of the arts and cultural services in that year.

In 2009 there was a further substantial decrease in expenditure following a preceding decrease in 2008. There were more decreases in 2010, 2011, 2012 and again in 2013. Optically however the budget for culture has increased, primarily in connection with the use of the Structural Funds, and also, significantly, in connection with expenditures on the activities of churches and religious societies. This, however, has had the effect of all the more dramatically decreasing the actual support that goes to culture itself, both through the state's semi-budgetary organisations and in the form of grants and subsidies.

An additional explanatory note should be given in reference to churches. In 2012 the government passed Act No. 428/2012 Coll. on Property Settlement with Churches and Religious Societies. This legislation was intended to rectify certain injustices suffered by churches and religious societies and to enable them to function independently of the state, and to move towards a property settlement between the state on one hand and churches and religious societies on the other through the combined means of the natural restitution of property originally owned by churches and religious societies but now the property of the state and the payment of financial compensation while gradually discontinuing subsidies for the wages of clergies and for other expenses of churches and religious societies. This is to be a gradual, long-term process that will affect and alter the entire sphere of public expenditure. Subsidies will continue to be paid out of the public budget for a period of seventeen years to seventeen churches and religious societies. For the first three years of this period the amount of the subsidy paid will be the same as the amount paid in 2011. From the fourth year this sum will decrease annually by 5%. The property settlement legislation is understood as a financial separation of the state and churches. This entails ending the system of direct subsidising of churches out of the state budget (in particular ceasing to cover the wages of clergies).

Savings in the Culture budget chapter in 2011 and 2012 were most apparent in the operations of the Ministry of Culture and in the activities of budgetary organisations. In 2011 State budgetary organisations saw cuts of 15%, although expenditure on grants were not decreased from 2010. The MC and its organisations made savings by, among other things, cutting staff, cancelling fixed-term employment contracts, and lowering wages. Some organisations like the National Gallery or the National Theatre also cut back on their activities and decreased the number of exhibitions and theatre premieres and so on. In 2012 grants were affected as well as state institutions. In 2013 cuts primarily impacted the area of grants and the independent sector, but state institutions also saw cuts, and this pattern continued in 2014 and 2015, while subsequent increases in the volume of funding managed to be obtained in the course of the year.


Chapter published: 28-01-2016

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