Letocha (STAN): We fight against illegal smuggling and corruption

04/05/2023 11:17 | Media Release

This week, the House of Representatives will adopt several laws that continue to fulfill the Government’s program statement in the areas of security, education and justice.



Description: Petr Letocha

In the first area, the Asylum Act is currently being amended, which regulates the conditions for obtaining the so-called blue cards, and at the same time tightens the penalties for illegal smuggling. The amendment to the Law on Pedagogical Workers, which, among other things, sets teachers’ salaries at 130% of the average salary, goes to its final third reading this week. For the Department of Education, which is headed by Minister Vladimir Balaš (STAN), this is one of the key priorities in the field of financing education. This week, MPs will also discuss the Government’s draft law on the protection of whistleblowers, which should provide them with greater and more effective protection.

The proposed amendment to the Asylum Act does not have a special unifying element, but consists of a series of measures aimed at responding to current practice in the field of asylum policy. “The law was last amended in 2015. Since then, a number of problems have been gradually observed, primarily related to the transposition of EU directives. By introducing procedural deadlines, the amendment to the law will speed up and simplify the process of granting asylum. The law will also introduce changes in the area of ​​so-called blue cards, which give foreigners the right to long-term residence in the Czech Republic and employment. This instrument brings highly qualified workers working in areas with high added value to the European and therefore the Czech labor market. They then contribute secondarily to the growth of the Czech economy,” said MP and member of the Security Committee Petr Letocha about the law.

The change in the law will also affect other legal regulations, such as the Criminal Code or the Law on Public Health Insurance. In the first case, criminal penalties related to illegal smuggling are tightened. “With this change, we promise that it will primarily have a preventive nature and will additionally reduce criminal activities related to illegal migration on Czech territory. In connection with the Law on Public Health Insurance, there is a new obligation to register minor children with a long-term stay in the Czech Republic in the public health insurance system. This step, which has long been called for by the Constitutional Court or, for example, the Ethics Commission of the Ministry of Health, will strengthen the public health insurance system. In practice, this proposal requires legal representatives to pay insurance premiums for their children in the same amount that people without taxable income currently pay,” Petr Letocha specified the effects of the amendment.

In the third reading, MPs will discuss the amendment to the Law on Pedagogical Workers, which establishes new rules and conditions for allocating funds from the state budget for teachers’ salaries. The proposal envisages fixing the salary of teaching staff in regional education at a level of at least 130% of the average salary in the Czech Republic. It introduces new positions such as Implementation Teacher, Teacher Induction and Classroom Teacher to help teachers improve their work. The amendment also strengthens the responsibility of school directors when hiring the so-called expert from practice. The law should allow talented candidates with professional education to enter the teaching profession, even if they have no teaching experience.

“Allocating an amount from the state budget for teachers’ salaries in the amount of 130% of the average salary in the Czech Republic is a step in the right direction, but at the same time it must be said that it is not a panacea. This is an important motivational element for pedagogues, but we must not forget the further support of quality and inspiring teachers, the methodical support of beginner cantors or the emphasis on the quality of qualification and specialization studies. I believe that only in this mix will the changes in the law bring positive changes in education, increase the prestige of the teaching profession and improve the quality of teaching in our schools,” said MP Jan Berki, who has been involved for a long time. on the topic of education in the STAN movement, on amending the law.

The House of Representatives is also waiting for the debate on the bill on the protection of whistleblowers. “This law is currently one of the most discussed legislative initiatives, which aims to provide greater protection to people who want to raise awareness about corruption, mismanagement of public funds or any violation of rights. Whistleblowers will receive new legal protection thanks to the law and will not have to worry about whether they will suffer any damage or be subjected to repression for reporting,” STAN MP Lucie Potůčková explained the essence of the law.

“The benefit of the law is mainly the promotion of transparency and the fight against corruption, which are the principles on which mayors and independent mayors have long been based. Thanks to the new legislation, business and investment conditions in the Czech Republic will improve, which will have a positive impact on our economy. We must not forget to increase citizens’ trust in state institutions. If people see that whistleblowers are protected and that the government supports greater transparency and the fight against corruption through this law, they will gain more confidence in the rule of law,” concluded Lucie Potůčková, stating the positive advantages of the law, who also emphasized that by adopting the law, the STAN movement fulfills one from his election promises. After all, STAN MP Hana Naiclerová also held a professional seminar on this topic at the end of January.

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author: PV

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