In a follow up report on the Czech Republic, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering body MONEYVAL concludes that the country has improved measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, but still needs to make progress in certain areas.
The European Commission has warned Romania and Czech Republic about failing to follow food safety rules. Czech Republic has failed to comply with EU rules on official controls to ensure verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and welfare.
Czech PM Andrej Babiš has hailed the hard-won EU recovery deal as an important signal for the future of the alliance. The head of government, who pushed to downsize the grants part of the aid package and change the criteria according to which the money will be distributed, said the outcome would benefit the Czech Republic both directly and indirectly –by helping to revitalize the European economy.
European Parliament president David Sassoli on Tuesday rejected claims by the Czech prime minister Andrej Babis that the institution interferes in Czech internal affairs. In a letter sent to Babis, Sassoli said the parliament has the right, based on the EU treaty, “to give or deny the discharge to the European Commission on the implementation of the EU budget”.
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the compensation granted by Czechia to Czech Post to fulfil its public service mission is in line with EU State aid rules.
A resolution by the European Parliament criticizing the Czech prime minister’s potential conflict of interest and the lack of a reliable mechanism in the country to identify and prevent misuse of EU funds has evoked mixed reactions on the Czech political scene. Opposition politicians say the time is ripe for the Czech prime minister to make up his mind whether he wants to be in business or politics.
Billionaire Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Saturday accused the European Parliament of “interference” after it pressed for mechanisms to stop the misuse of EU subsidies. Babiš is suspected of a clash of interest as the owner of the Agrofert food, chemicals and media holding receiving EU subsidies, and a politician deciding on where the subsidies will end up.
As EU leaders convened for a video summit on Friday focused on a EUR 750 bn recovery fund to tackle the coronavirus crisis, the European Parliament was set to adopt a resolution condemning Czech PM Andrej Babiš for conflicts of interest. MEPs on the budget oversight committee argue that until the EU Commission and the European Anti-Fraud Office investigations are complete, he should not take part in decisions on EU budgets.
The European Commission’s 750 billion euro recovery plan, which would use an unprecedented scale of joint debt incurred by the bloc’s 27 member countries, is expected to provoke a fierce debate among EU leaders. The immediate reaction from Prague has been a thumbs down from the prime minister, but also calls for solidarity from others.
A draft statement from the Czech government calls on the EU economic recovery plan and long-term budget to fall in line with the European Green Deal, marking a U-turn from Prague’s earlier positions.