Parliament to debate EU subsidies and potential conflicts of interest - quote from Mikuláš Peksa MEP
Czech PM Babiš
Today, the European Parliament will debate the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and the reopening of a criminal investigation into his company's use of EU subsidies and potential conflicts of interest. In December a leaked Commission audit into Czech PM Andrej Babiš proved that there is a conflict of interest between Babiš' role as PM and his Agrofert group of companies, which receive EU funds. The results of a second Commission audit, this time into agricultural funds, is expected in the coming months. A vote on this topic will take place in February.
Mikuláš Peksa, Greens/EFA Member of the Budgetary Control Committee, comments:
"It cannot be allowed to stand that a sitting EU Prime Minister is currently involved in negotiating the distribution of EU funds that he may benefit from personally. The conflict of interest around Andrej Babiš is an embarrassment for the credibility of the EU and the Commission and Council must indicate how they intend to rectify this scandal. It has also now become clear that there was no legal reason to stop the fraud investigation into Prime Minister Babis and EU funds in the 'stork's nest' case."
"The lack of information provided by the Commission is not in the public interest, Czech and EU taxpayers deserve to see the results of the audits into Babiš and the Commission should publish them without delay. EU funds are not designed to line the pockets of oligarchs or to help them gain power. The EU needs effective sanctions and an independent ethics body to ensure that no future PM can use their role to enrich themselves."
In December, the Czech Attorney General decided to re-open a criminal investigation into the 'Stork's nest' case of irregular use of EU funds by Babis’ Agrofert company. The Committee on Budgetary Control will go on a fact finding mission to Prague in February.