From left, Minister of Culture Martin Baxa and Prime Minister Petr Fiala spoke at a press conference after the Prime Minister's balance visit to the Ministry of Culture, February 14, 2023, Prague.
Prague – After his visit to the Ministry of Culture, Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) said that the office under the leadership of Martin Baxa (ODS) managed to reverse the threat of sanctions in the order of tens of millions of crowns, when the previous government did not enforce the transposition of European directives. In particular, it was a directive on copyright in the single digital market. The relevant standards apply from the beginning of this year. Fiala mentioned that the department fulfills the program statement in that, among other things, it submitted an amendment to involve the Senate in the election of members of the boards of Czech Television and Czech Radio, thereby strengthening their independence.
“The Ministry of Culture had to react to the unexpected events and problems that last year brought. I think that it was managed under the leadership of Minister Baxa. I am pleased that the MK emphasizes that culture is not just a passive recipient of funds from the state budget, but that it is an area , which brings the Czech Republic prestige and also creates jobs,” said the Prime Minister.
According to him, the government is trying to keep the promise from the program statement that one percent of the state budget will go to the MK budget. This is what almost all the Czech governments promise. This year, the Ministry of Culture manages a budget of 18.498 billion crowns. This is a 21 percent increase compared to last year's budget, i.e. 3.3 billion crowns, and the highest amount it has had so far. The amount also includes state spending on churches. The National Recovery Plan and European funds contributed a significant amount to the budget of the MK for this year, of which 2.4 billion crowns go to the development of the creative and cultural sector, 1.9 billion CZK more than last year.
Both Fiala and Baxa also talked about large investments in monuments commemorating the dark places of Czechoslovak history. Fiala identified them as one of the priorities of the current government. There is the Monument of Silence at Prague's Bubny railway station, which is supposed to commemorate the deportation of Jews under the protectorate, or the Holocaust Memorial of Roma and Sinti. It is being built on the site of a former piggery in Lety na Písecko, where there was a Roma labor camp during the Second World War. Baxa recently participated in the handover of the construction site, and the monument in Lety should be ready at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.
The Ministry of Culture approved 300 million crowns for the Monument of Silence in Prague. “The documentation for the execution of the construction is being completed and I believe that this year we will be able to carry out all the next stages – that is, to announce a tender for the contractor. space. We will stick to this schedule and we want to finish it. I have decided that investment experts from the National Museum will help our small contribution organization Památník Bubny, so I believe that we will be able to manage this investment event in time,” said ČTK Baxa.< /p>
In addition to submitting the long-prepared and controversial amendment to the Copyright Act, Fiala praised his fellow party Baxa for the fact that the department under his leadership completed the preparation of drawing money from the National Recovery Plan. “Culture has an extraordinary resource thanks to the National Plan of Renewal, but in the field of culture, when our government took office, it was not well prepared. Minister Baxa devoted himself to it intensively and successfully, so he will be able to draw another 5.5 billion crowns by 2026,” he said.
According to Fiala, they also spoke with the minister today about the upcoming laws to be submitted by the office. In this year's legislative plan, according to government materials, the Ministry of Culture has, for example, an amendment to the legislation on heritage care, a draft law on public cultural institutions, an amendment to the law on certain types of cultural support or a draft amendment to the law on libraries. The first of the amendments, which the ministry should submit to the government in March , is a draft amendment to the Act on Audiovisual Works and the Support of Cinematography and another completely new Act on Audiovisual, which is necessary according to domestic representatives of the audiovisual industry.