11. 1. 2018
The Czech government provides some 660 million euros to Czech NGOs, said Czech President Miloš Zeman, adding that this funding was unnecessary and wasteful. Zeman has called on the new Czech Prime Minister, oligarch Andrej Babiš, to stop this funding. In response to this, Babiš has said that he will start a process where the government funding for the NGOs will be curtailed.
There are some 120 000 NGOs in the Czech Republic, but about a third of the NGO government funding goes to sporting organisations. Babiš has now asked the Czech Justice Secretary Pelikán to analyse the structure of the funding of the Czech NGOs by the government. "We will have a look at this funding and if we decide that it is wasteful, we will stop providing it," said Babiš.
The leaders of the Czech Communist Party Vojtěch Filip and of the extreme right wing SPD party Tomio Okamura have also complained that the Czech state is giving "too much money" to NGOs. They want the Czech state to stop funding support for refugees.
Jakub Janda, a former sportsman and an MP from the right wing Civic Democratic Party, has protested against the fact that the Czech state provides 260 000 euros annually to support gender equality in the Czech Republic. He demands that these funds should be transferred to support sporting activities instead.
Representatives of the Czech NGOs who support vulnerable members of society have pointed out that if their funding is taken away, the same services will have to be provided by commercial firms which the state will still have to subsidise and subsidising them will be more expensive.
Over the last year, the Czech state has given most financial subsidies to support social welfare and employment policies - some 150 million euros have been used for these areas. The second most strongly supported sector is sport - sporting organisations have been given 111 million euros. Education has been given 55 million euros.
The Czech Football Association is an NGO which has received the most amount of any organisation over the past twelve months - 10 million euros.