The Ministry of Culture, pursuant to Section 8 of Act No. 2/1969 Coll., on the Establishment of Ministries and Other Central Government Authorities of the Czech Republic, as amended, is the central body of state administration for
- cultural education,
- cultural heritage,
- affairs of churches and religious societies,
- press matters, including the publication of non-periodical press and other means of information,
- preparation of draft laws and other legislation in the field of radio and television broadcasting,
- implementation of the Copyright law,
- production and trade in the field of culture.
The Government of the Czech Republic considers culture to be a defining constituent of our national identity. It is viewed as the spiritual foundation that enhances the quality of life and contributes to the creation of respected values. National culture and its presentation in the context of international cooperation is a way to place distinctive national values on the map of European and world culture, also in the context of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Culture is the Czech Republic’s ticket to the future: given our geographic position and historical background, we want to be a crossroad of cultures, a place of free and open exchange that nurtures our own culture while protecting inherited values and traditions. The role of the state is to provide and optimize links between culture and other areas of society, thereby enriching citizens’ lives, furnishing the economy, research and education with creative skills, motivating donations and providing sufficient resources to strengthen the country’s competitiveness in the global environment.
The State Cultural Policy 2021–2026 contains 6 principal objectives for further development in the field of culture. The first three focus on rather traditional competences of the Ministry, while the other three elaborate on new ones to boost the capacity of the Ministry to effectively manage the cultural and creative sector:
Objective 1: Increasing the availability and accessibility of culture
Main initiatives include using digitalisation to make culture more accessible and affordable, or enabling free admission to key state institutions by compensation for the shortfall in admission revenue.
Objective 2: Effective care of cultural heritage
The coherence of legislative, financial and systemic care of cultural heritage is considered crucial. We will further develop the Integrated System for the Protection of Tangible Cultural Heritage and the technological modernisation of cultural institutions caring for cultural heritage. The tools of digitisation will be used to make cultural heritage more accessible.
Objective 3: Growth of live art
Capacity building is the key element of cultural renewal. Main initiatives include artists’ social security and development of second careers. We also support interdisciplinary projects of artistic cooperation combining live arts and cultural heritage and cultural research.
Objective 4: Support of cultural and creative sectors
Cultural and creative sectors and their growth shall draw on the rich resources of talent and innovation potential in order to better reflect new visions, perception and status of culture, including the need for new tools to support the cultural and creative sector.
Objective 5: Broader role of culture in the Czech Republic
Cross-sectoral cooperation must be given more prominence. Strengthening inter-ministerial cooperation contributes to effective support for the cultural and creative sector beyond the supportive instruments of the Ministry of Culture. Essential element is the implementation of the NAKI III research programme in 2023-2030.
Objective 6: Transformation of the Ministry of Culture
The aim is to increase the capacity of the Ministry to better promote the broader role of culture and effectively support the cultural and creative sectors. The National Recovery Plan will make a significant contribution to the revival of CCSIs after the covid crisis.
Priorities of the Czech Presidency in the field of culture, audiovisual and copyright
The priority of the Czech Presidency in the field of culture is the adoption of a new Work Plan for Culture for the next period. The text will be discussed within the Cultural Affairs Committee in the second half of 2022, and the draft Council Resolution will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for Culture and Audiovisual for approval. It is envisaged that the plan will again be a four-year plan, covering the years 2023-2026. Together with the New European Agenda for Culture and in line with its strategic orientation, the Work Plan for Culture is a strategic instrument for EU cultural cooperation, addressing current policy developments and setting priorities with due regard to the EU principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. The future Work Plan for Culture will build on previous Work Plans and the achievements presented in the European Commission’s Report on the Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022. It should strengthen the links between Presidencies and ensure synergies with the Creative Europe programme 2021-2027. There is a call for an updated strategic framework to cultural cooperation at EU level. Priority areas for cooperation will continue to include support of cultural and creative sectors and industries to contribute to their revitalisation and strengthening, digitisation, green transition, participation and equal access to culture for citizens, preparing cultural heritage for the impacts of climate change in Europe and other topical issues, including the possibility of adopting a European status of artist.
In the field of media and audiovisual, the priority is the implementation of the regulatory framework for audiovisual media services and video sharing platforms. The Czech Presidency is also expected to start discussing part of the European Media Freedom Act legislative package.
In the field of copyright, the European Commission’s work plan includes a proposal for a minor amendment to Directive 2006/115/EC on rental and lending rights.
The Ministry of Culture organises two main Presidency conferences in Prague: Conference on Cultural Heritage: Challenges of Contemporary European Heritage Management, and Conference on Audiovisual and Copyright. In September in Brussels, an exhibition of the artist Milena Dopitová entitled Even Odd will be held in Bozar.
The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council will meet in Brussels on 28-29 November 2022.
Cultural cooperation projects
Actors in the field of culture cooperate extensively and intensively with many European countries. The Ministry of Culture has a subsidy programme to support cooperation projects awarded under the Creative Europe programme. Both public and private organisations, associations, festivals, concert organisers, export offices and a music business school have received grants. Unfortunately, a number of events was cancelled during the covid-19 pandemic, yet a total of 11 projects were supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic in 2022.
Recent support has been granted e.g. to the Hub for the Exchange Music Innovation (HEMI), the Institute of Arts’ project for international cooperation of ten partner organisations from nine countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe. The activities will be carried out in three main programmes: the HEMI Incubator for music professionals, HEMI 360 for support of international careers of promising artists of the CSEE countries, and HEMI Digital – a gateway to the music market of the EU-CSEE region. Another new and exciting project is DECONFINING (Deconfining arts, culture and policies in Europe and Africa). The project is being implemented by 12 partners in 11 European countries with the aim of establishing a reference practice for sustainable and equitable intercontinental cultural exchange between the EU and Africa, with an emphasis on a new participatory framework for collaboration, both virtual and physical.
The Ministry of Culture and the whole cultural and creative sector have been heavily involved in various types of assistance to Ukraine, whether it be vocal and visible expressions of support, offers of jobs, housing and provision of basic needs, access to culture and the arts, collections or charity events. The Czech government also actively contributes to the preservation of Ukraine’s cultural heritage, e.g. by allocating 70 000 EUR from the state budget for the purchase of material and equipment needed for the protection of cultural property and its evacuation, this particular material aid was already transported to the territory of Ukraine in May.
Martin Baxa Minister of Culture