The Greens/EFA group has sent two separate letters to the European Commission and Council demanding they take immediate action on the conflict of interest surrounding Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Leaked copies of the Commission's audit into the conflict surrounding Babiš' business Agrofert, which received EU subsidies, shows that large sums of EU and Czech money are distributed to Agrofert and will need to be repaid. Yesterday, tens of thousands of people went to the streets in the Czech Republic calling for the resignation of Babiš.
Philippe Lamberts, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament comments:
"The Commission must immediately look into subsidies flowing to the Agrofert group to ensure that none of this constitutes as illegal state aid directed by Babiš himself. There must be a level playing field for business in Europe and nobody, not even a Prime Minister, can be allowed to break the rules to benefit his own bank account.
"President Tusk knows all too well what can happen in a country where the rule of law is under threat, and he must take immediate action to ensure that Babiš' dodgy dealings don't effect decisions made in the European Council. The integrity of the EU is at stake."
Mikuláš Peksa, Greens/EFA & Pirate Party MEP, comments:
"This issue it too important to be swept under the rug or handled behind the scenes. The thousands of people on the streets of Prague, Brno, Ostrava, and other Czech cities demand answers. Czech and EU taxpayers money must not be used to enrich oligarchs, it should be used for the good of citizens. This is about trust in the EU and whether it can stop a businessman like Babiš from abusing EU funds as he sees fit.
"President Tusk must immediately outline the next steps he intends to take to prevent the situation when a clear conflict of interest of one of the Council's members could influence decisions on the current or future EU budgets, and guarantee that similar conflicts cannot arise in the future."
In the letter to President Donal Tusk, the Greens/EFA group demand that the Council ensure that they take steps to prevent this conflict from affecting the decision making process, as set out in the Treaties. The letter can be read here: http://extranet.greens-efa-service.eu/public/media/file/1/6054
In the letter to President Jean-Claude Juncker and Margrethe Vestager, the Greens/EFA group demand that the Commission look into the Agrofert projects still being funded by the Czech state, after the Commission halted their funding, and whether or not these constitute illegal state aid. The letter can be read here: http://extranet.greens-efa-service.eu/public/media/file/1/6055
The Czech Pirate Party has long campaigned against corruption, for more transparency and integrity in politics, with a particular focus on the case of Andrej Babiš' conflict of interest.