Czech President Signs New Law Impacting Public Media Council Selection

On July 5th, the Czech Republic celebrated the Day of Saints Cyril and Methodius, honoring the arrival of the Byzantine brothers in Great Moravia in 863 to propagate Christianity among the Slavic people. The following day, July 6th, marked Jan Hus Day, commemorating the life of the Czech theologian and philosopher who was martyred by burning at the stake in 1415 for his dissension from the Catholic Church’s teachings.

In recent news, Czech President Petr Pavel signed a new law on Monday that will have a significant impact on the country’s public media landscape. The law stipulates that one-third of the members of the Czech Television and Czech Radio councils will be selected by the Senate, a departure from the previous practice of exclusively choosing council members through the Chamber of Deputies. Starting in October, the Senate will nominate six members of the Czech Television Council and three members of the Czech Radio Council. These council members serve six-year terms.

President Pavel also signed two additional laws on the same day. One law focuses on protecting economic competition, empowering the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition to utilize police wiretaps in certain cases. The other law addresses the right to access environmental information, granting access to spatial data for thirty areas that are also used for the European geoportal.

The change in the selection process for council members of public media is significant, as it grants the Senate a greater role in shaping the future of Czech Television and Czech Radio. Some individuals have expressed concerns that this move could potentially politicize public media, while others argue that it enhances transparency and accountability.

Irrespective of differing opinions on the new law, it is evident that understanding and addressing the needs of the public are crucial for effective governance. The Czech government must continue to actively engage with citizens and seek their feedback to ensure that the country progresses in the right direction, fostering an environment of inclusivity, transparency, and responsiveness.

Article by Prague Forum

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