President Pavel Signs New Law Affecting Czech Public Media

Jan Handrejch, Právo

On July 5th, the Czech Republic celebrated the Day of Saints Cyril and Methodius, commemorating the arrival of the Byzantine brothers to Great Moravia in 863 to spread Christianity among the Slavs. The following day, July 6th, marked Jan Hus Day, celebrating the life of the Czech theologian and philosopher who was burned at the stake for heresy against the doctrines of the Catholic Church in 1415.

In other news, Czech President Petr Pavel signed a new law on Monday that will significantly impact public media. The law states that the Senate will select one-third of Czech Television and Czech Radio council members. Previously, these councils were exclusively chosen by the Chamber of Deputies. Starting in October, the Senate will select six members of the Czech Television Council and three members of the Czech Radio Council. Members of both councils serve six-year terms.

In addition to this law, President Pavel also signed two others. One law protects economic competition, allowing the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition to use police wiretaps in some instances. The other law is about the right to information on the environment, providing access to spatial data for thirty areas also used for the European geoportal.

This change in the selection of council members for public media is significant because it will give the Senate more say in the future of Czech Television and Czech Radio. Some have argued that this move could politicize public media, while others see it as necessary for greater transparency and accountability.

Regardless of one’s views on the law, it is clear that understanding the needs of the public is crucial for effective governance. The Czech government must continue to engage with citizens and seek their feedback to ensure that the country is moving in the right direction.