The Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and Czech Centres are the main actors in cultural cooperation and the promotion of Czech culture abroad. In 2011 the Czech government adopted the Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Czech Republic, which makes it the aim of public diplomacy to present the Czech Republic as a country with a rich culture, as amidst increasing globalisation the importance of culture as a medium of individual expression and an affirmation of national identity is growing. In connection with this Concept, since 2011 the Annual Reports on Public Relations have been published (see http://www.mzv.cz/file/974173/rocenka2012_web.pdf). A new Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Czech Republic is being prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2015.
Other important actors include national organisations under the umbrella of the MC and non-governmental organisations, through which the majority of international cultural projects are implemented. These projects are supported by state grant programmes and grants from regional and local authorities, as well as through foreign cultural institutions and foundations. Some foreign institutes like the British Council or Pro Helvetia reduced their activities in the field of culture after the CR joined the EU; the consequence was a general decrease in possible sources of funding for support in this field.
The Czech Centres operate under the remit of the MFA. Their mission is to promote the Czech cultural scene on the international level and to strength the good reputation of the Czech Republic in the world. There are currently 22 branches operating in 20 countries on 3 continents. Among their cultural activities they focus on promoting every branch of Czech culture – fine art, architecture, design, fashion, stage arts, film, music, and literature. The Czech Centres are members of the European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC).
The Arts and Theatre Institute (ATI) is an organisation founded by the MC to promote Czech theatre abroad, among other roles. At present it also promotes others fields of the arts, such as literature, music and dance. The ATI organises projects abroad like cultural seasons, exhibitions, the publishing of books, runs web portals in foreign languages, and it also has a residential programme for artistic exchanges in all fields of the arts provides financial support for the short-term mobility of Czech artists. The institution also ensures the operation of international non-governmental organisations in the field of the performing arts and music.
NIPOS is another organisation that operates under the MC. It supports individuals’ travel abroad and through a selection procedure welcomes international artists to perform in the CR in the field of non-professional artistic activities.
Since 2002 the Czech Film Centre has been very active in the area of promoting Czech cinematography abroad and in 2013 the centre became a part of the National Film Archive. It promotes Czech cinematography in various ways: promoting it at major international festials and markets, publishing work on Czech film and the Czech film industry, networking, and consultation.
In October 2009, the Czech government adopted the “Programme of Film Industry Support” that operates via fiscal stimuli or tax incentives. Before this there had existed no such incentive allowing foreign and Czech film or TV producers to ask for partial compensation for invested expenses on the territory of the CR. In 2010 the programme was announced by the European Commission and in the spring of 2010 it issued its first call for entries. However, when a new act on audio-visual work was passed, a new notification was required and this was done in August 2013 (see also chapter 3.5.1).
The CR adopted the Act on Certain Kinds of Cultural Support (see also chapter 4.2.1) which provides a so-called state guarantee by providing compensation for an object on loan in the case of harm or damage during an exhibition or similar event.