Speech at the second meeting of the Senate on November 3, 2022 on a bill on the entry and import of cultural goods into the customs territory of the European Union
Hello, dear Mr. President, colleagues, colleagues.
Draft Law on Entry and Import of Certain Cultural Goods into the Customs Territory of the European Union and Amendment of Certain Related Laws, Senate Press No. 310. The essence of the law, as we have heard, is to establish additional conditions for entry and import of cultural goods into the customs territory of the European Union. The law establishes clear procedures for preserving and returning cultural property that has left its country of origin in violation of the laws of that country. The government bill is based on European Parliament and Council Regulation No. 2019/880 of 17 April 2019 on the entry and import of cultural goods.
The bill was sent to Socialist Party deputies as the 150th Parliamentary Press on February 22 and was accompanied by a very detailed explanatory report from the Ministry of Culture. The Parliamentary Guarantee Committee for Science, Education, Culture, Youth and Sports recommended the approval of the law, without comment, at its meeting held on June 22 of this year. In the wording presented, the Socialist Party approved the law in its 35th session on September 30, 2022, 124 out of 129 members of Parliament present voted in favor of the law. In the Senate, on October 26, the Legal Constitutional Committee debated the bill, as we have heard, which recommended approval of the bill, as it was referred to the Socialist Party, as decided by the Committee on Guaranteeing Education, Science, Culture and Human Rights and petitions on November 1.
The protection of historical and cultural artifacts and cultural assets is currently focused mainly on elements from the territory of the Czech Republic, that is, the European Union. The bill responds to the illegal trade in goods that are imported into our territory from other countries, that is, third countries. The law establishes reasonable procedures for evaluating the value of the seized items, the specific institutions that will provide professional cooperation in this regard, and determines how to deal with the seized goods further.
I consider the bill meaningful, because it leads to the protection of cultural wealth and will also help in the fight against illegal trade, which is often linked to organized crime, or in some cases also to the financing of terrorism. I recommend passing the law as introduced by the House of Representatives.
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