COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Slovakia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.4 Cultural diversity and inclusion policies

The number of inhabitants of the Slovak Republic in 2007 was 5 396 168.

Table 1:     Population of the Slovak Republic according to nationality, 2007

Nationality

% of total

Slovak

85.8

Hungarian

9.7

Roma

1.7

Czech

0.8

Ruthenian

0.4

Ukrainian

0.2

Others and undetermined

1.4

Source:      Statistics Office SR, according to census of population, houses and flats in 2001.

Geographically, the structure of the population according to nationality is naturally separated, especially in those parts lying adjacent to neighbouring countries. The Hungarian minority is most represented in those districts in southern Slovakia near the border with the Hungarian Republic; the Ukrainian, Ruthenian and Roma minorities in eastern Slovakia; and the Czech minority in the capital, Bratislava, and in those western Slovakia districts lying adjacent to the Czech Republic border.

The structure of the population according to nationality and the geographic distribution of the national minorities is the result of the natural historical / social process of the formation of the population of the Slovak Republic.

The rights of national minorities are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, and citizens cannot be discriminated against for allegiance to any national minority or ethnic group. According to the SR Constitution, inhabitants of a national minority or ethnic group in the Slovak Republic have guarantees for their development, in particular the right, together with other members of the minority or group, to expand their culture, the right to broadcast and receive information in their native language, to unite in national associations, to establish and maintain educational and cultural institutions.

The SR Constitution guarantees the following rights to citizens belonging to national minorities or ethnic groups:

  • the right to master the national language;
  • the right to education in the language of the minority;
  • the right to use the minority language in official relations; and
  • the right to participate in the resolution of matters affecting national minorities and ethnic groups.

These basic civil rights of citizens of national minorities or ethnic groups are further elaborated in these laws:

  • Act no. 184/1999 Coll. on the Use of the Language of National Minorities; and
  • Act no. 191/1994 Coll. on Designation of Communities in the Language of National Minorities.

In the implementation of minority rights and in the performance of its minority policy, the Slovak Republic is also bound by the relevant international documents and agreements in this area (UNESCO, Council of Europe, European Union).

In the Slovak Republic, apart from many national cultural associations, several cultural institutions of national minorities are also active:

  • Hungarian artistic ensemble Ifjú szivek - Young Hearts;
  • Jókaiho theatre - Hungarian National Theatre in Komárno;
  • Divadlo Thália - Hungarian National Theatre in Košice;
  • Divadlo Alexandra Duchnoviča - Ruthenian National Theatre in Prešov;
  • Divadlo Romathan - Roma National Theatre in Košice;
  • Museum of Croatian Culture at the Slovak National Museum (SNM);
  • Museum of Czech Culture at SNM in Martin;
  • Museum of Culture of Carpathian Germans at SNM inBratislava;
  • Museum of Culture of Hungarians in Slovakia;
  • Museum of Roma Culture at SNM inMartin; and
  • Museum of Ukrainian-Ruthenian Culture in Svidník.

National minorities also have their regular programmes in the public media. In 2006, on Slovak television, the share of programmes in the languages of national minorities was about 1.3%, while on Slovak Radio the share of programmes was about 7.6% of the total volume of broadcasting. The share of programmes in the languages of national minorities, in the total volume of television broadcasting of all broadcasters in the Slovak Republic in 2006, was about 3.7%.

Since 2006, the Ministry of Culture has had a separate grant programme for the support of cultural activities and projects for national minorities. 87.6 million SKK (about 2 561 403 euro) was set aside for this programme in the 2007 budget, which represents about 17.9% of the budget of the entire MC SR grant programme for 2007.


Chapter published: 15-01-2008

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