Today, the European Parliament will debate conflict of interest and corruption in EU funds. The Greens/EFA group had pushed for this debate after a European Commission audit report confirmed that the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is in a large-scale conflict of interest, as he personally benefited from EU funds. The leaked audit finds that around €11 million of non-agricultural EU funds will need to be returned. A second audit looking into the potential conflicts of interest around EU agricultural subsidies and Babiš' company Agrofert is expected next year.
Mikuláš Peksa, Greens/EFA Member of the Budgetary Control Committee, comments:
"The scandal surrounding Andrej Babiš is a smear on both the EU and the Czech Republic's reputations, but it also highlights the broader problem with conflicts of interest and EU funds across the Union. In several EU Member States powerful oligarch are acquiring immense areas of land though opaque deals with governments and are directly benefiting from European subsidies."
"We need to ensure that oligarchs and politicians are not able to abuse EU taxpayers’ money in order to accumulate power and wealth. EU rules should be improved and effective sanctions should be put in place to ensure that conflicts of interest have no place near the levers of power. The EU urgently needs an independent ethics body, greater capacity for audits of Union funds and for all countries to sign-up to the European Public Prosecutor's Office."
You can follow the live debate here from 15:00: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/home.html