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Czech PM: EU budget should focus on investment

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Prague, Feb 15 (CTK) – The EU budget should more focus on competitiveness, economic growth, innovations and investment in security, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told the European affairs committee of the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday.

“We believe it would be good if the budget focuses on effective investment in key spheres such as security, migration or defence so that we can effectively prevent illegal migration,” he said.

Babis talked about the position he would present at the EU informal summit on February 23 at which discussions about the next financial framework are likely to start.

He said he would like the Czech Republic to have the main say in the decision making on how to use the European subsidies. The priorities should not be set by the European Commission, he added.

The money should be primarily used for the development of infrastructure, Babis said.

“We lack investments in hospitals and retirement homes,” he said.

Babis said it is important for the Czech Republic that enough money continues to go for cohesion policy which is a major investment instrument in the country.

Babis dismissed the information that the Visegrad Four (V4) group agreed to contribute more to the European budget, which is to shrink due to the departure of Britain from the EU. He said the spending on EU bodies should be lowered instead.

The V4 group comprises the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

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