The European Commission is suspending subsidies, giving credit to the official complaint of Transparency International Czech Republic

Publikováno: 13. prosince 2018

Commissioner Günther Oettinger announced at the European Parliament’s Strasbourg plenary session that the European Commission (EC) will not pay any subsidies to subjects in question with effect from August 2, 2018 until Andrej Babiš’s conflict of interests is resolved.

European Commissioner Günther Oettinger during debate of the European Parliament in Strasbourg | source: Seznam Zprávy

The Commission thus fully acknowledges the European complaint that Transparency International  Czech Republic (TICZ) sent in early September. It is confirmed that our arguments and the evidence presented were fully justified. These are not „lies and campaigns“, as Babiš continuously repeats and tries to draw attention away from the nature of the problem.

The commissioner added that all Agrofert subsidies since Babiš’s entry into politics will be audited, starting January. The audits will be carried out by all relevant DGs and their results will be submitted by mid-April 2019 which means that the investigation will be completed by the end of the mandate of this commission.

„It’s an important victory for justice, the rules apply to everyone. Transparency has transferred the game to a European playground, where domestic whining does not work and decisions are not biased by local patronage,“ says David Ondráčka, director Czech TI and member of global TI Board.

„It was a fierce battle, the prime minister had falsely attacked us, but we were right. His personal skeleton in a cupboard shames the Czech Republic in the world,“ added.

Now it is unclear, whether the obvious conflict of interest of one Andrej Babiš caused a temporary stop of the payments of funds to Czech Republic as a whole or just for the companies of Agrofert holding. TI will closely follow the issue further both on Czech and European level, to ensure, that the conflict of interest of the Prime Minister will be solved as well as the ineligible subsidies will be compensated for.

 

Media coverage

Bloomberg – EU Lawmakers Seek Clampdown on Czech Prime Minister’s Business

Reuters – EU lawmakers push Czech PM Babis over conflict of interest

New York Times – EU Lawmakers Push Czech PM Babis Over Conflict of Interest

The Guardian – European parliament censures Czech PM in unprecedented move

It's an important victory for justice, the rules apply to everyone. Transparency has transferred the game to a European playground, where domestic whining does not work and decisions are not biased by local patronage.