Czech Census: a question of nationality?
Ten years after the last European census in 2011, parallel censuses were to be conducted again this year in all EU member states. Due to the pandemic, however, some states have postponed their census to 2022, while in others it will take place as planned. One of them is the Czech Republic, where voluntary declaration of nationality is being discussed.
Name your nationality, preserve your culture
The German-language Landesecho calls on members of the German minority to show their colours:
“There was a time when more than three million Germans lived on what is now Czech territory. As a result of the Second World War and the Beneš Decrees [which legalised the disenfranchisement and expropriation of Germans after 1945], most of them were expelled. Before that, German-speaking Jewish life had largely been destroyed by the National Socialists. In the 1950s there were only about 160,000 Germans left in Czechoslovakia. Cultural and linguistic assimilation into the Czech majority society caused the number to decline further over the next decades. ... The Assembly of German Associations in the Czech Republic [which represents the German minority] also needs the new data to realistically plan projects in the coming years, and provide the German minority with attractive cultural and linguistic programmes.”
"European" must and will count too
Some Czechs have said they want to put down "European" as their nationality, sparking a lively discussion. Český rozhlas summarises:
“Some people write on social networks that there is no European nationality because Europe is not a nation. Others, however, name their ancestors from all parts of the continent, thus declaring their European affiliation. They also cite the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, according to which everyone has the right to choose their nationality. This is of course different than citizenship, which one cannot decide for oneself. The Statistical Office says that if someone feels European, they may be counted as such. Nationality is individual for everyone, a feeling or a belief.”