Interior Ministry proposes amending National Security Act

08-06-2020

The Interior Ministry has proposed amending the National Security Act in a way that would enable the government to respond more flexibly to crisis situations such as the coronavirus pandemic.

Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, who presented the proposal to the National Security Council on Monday, said at a press briefing that the change of law would entail the introduction of a “state of danger”, which would be a milder form of the state of emergency which the government used to manage the crisis.

Minister Hamáček said that the state of danger could be a follow-up on the state of emergency, giving the government the chance to rule by government decrees in the event of a pandemic or cyber-attack. According to the amendment, the cabinet should be given the opportunity to declare a state of danger for the whole or part of the Czech Republic.

In dealing with the coronavirus crisis the government was criticized by the opposition for extending the state of emergency for longer than strictly needed. The change of law would require a constitutional majority in the lower house and will now be debated with the opposition.