Prague Councillors To Support Program Promoting Culture and Integration of National Minorities

Photo: KB for BD

Prague, Oct 2 (Tomas Houdek) – The City of Prague will provide funding for the cultural activities of national minorities and the integration of foreigners, which were among programs selected for support by Prague councillors last week. The goal is to preserve cultural traditions and improve the conditions for the integration of foreigners, who make up almost a quarter of Prague’s population.

Last Monday, the city council approved Prague’s “Program for the Support of Activities of National Minorities for 2024”. The program is designed to preserve and develop the cultural, social and educational activities of national minorities. At the same time, the council approved the city’s “Program for the Support of Activities for the Integration of Foreigners for 2024”. Both subsidy programs count on a total of CZK 28 million for next year.

“Fair integration of national minorities is clearly in the interest of Prague and the people of Prague,” said Deputy Mayor for Culture and Tourism, Jiří Pospíšil. “Thanks to this, we can not only reduce possible risks, but at the same time enrich our city with interesting and diverse cultural influences. That’s why I’m glad that the city council approved a program that will help this integration. Prague is a multicultural metropolis, and therefore we must support the involvement of minorities in all possible ways.” 

Thanks to the programmes, financing will continue for particularly important cultural events, including the Khamoro World Roma Festival and the Prague Heart of Nations International Folklore Festival. A number of other smaller projects are focused on educational activities for all ages in the field of developing national identity and inter-ethnic relations. These are mainly cultural activities, including concerts, exhibitions, theatre performances, composed programs, festivals, lectures, conferences, seminars, and round tables, as well as educational activities and publishing activities. The year-round activity of folklore ensembles will also be funded.

The integration program for foreigners is also a response to the refugee situation in Prague. As a result of the Russian invasion, more than 100,000 refugees from Ukraine fled to Prague in 2022, amid the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the end of World War II. According to the Czech Ministry of the Interior, approximately 85,000 of them remain in Prague as of 18 June 2023, where many are expected to remain for the foreseeable future due to the trajectory of the war.

According to the Czech Ministry of the Interior, as of 31 May this year, there were 329,483 foreigners in Prague, which is approximately 24.1% of all city residents. Since 2006, the number of foreigners living in Prague has more than tripled. The capital city has been supporting the activities of national minorities for a long time, and has been announcing separate programs to support them since 1999.

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