The distribution of EU funds in the Czech Republic is neither fair nor transparent but designed to favour the private interests of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. This is the central message of a Resolution which the European Parliament adopted today and which was initiated by the EPP Group.
Monika Hohlmeier MEP, Chairwoman of the Budgetary Control Committee, who prepared the text, said: “The information we have been receiving in and from the Czech Republic points to the intentional establishment of rules in the Czech Republic which hide real beneficiaries of subsidies, favour big conglomerates and prevent controlling authorities from carrying out checks on this system.”
The current system of distributing subsidies in the Czech Republic allows the Prime Minister to be the beneficial owner of one of the major EU funds beneficiaries. The European Parliament is now calling for an overhaul of the EU rules to stop the current practices in the Czech Republic.
Beyond factual information about the distribution of EU funds, Members of the Budgetary Control Committee have received written and oral statements from the Czech authorities, big farmers’ associations, Agrofert, the conglomerate Andrej Babiš founded, and Prime Minister Babiš himself aggressively criticising Parliamentarians and the work of the Committee.
Monika Hohlmeier commented: “These reactions have proven that we have stirred up a hornet’s nest. If anyone wants to benefit from EU money, they must play by EU rules. EU money is taxpayers’ money and should benefit the vast majority of people. It is now up to the European Commission to apply the existing rules of the Financial Regulation, specifically including the ones on conflicts of interests. We will make sure that the new EU rules break the system of the accumulation of EU money into oligarchs’ hands. The commitment we made to this goal in our Resolution throughout the political spectrum of the Parliament is clear.”