The change of course in EU financing being discussed at the summit in Brussels, may see future funds allotted to the Czech Republic cut by 24 percent and moreover tied to new priority areas such as climate change and innovation. How would such a shift impact the Czech Republic, which insists that its main investment priority is still road and rail infrastructure? I put the question to Ondřej Houska, a financial expert with the leading Czech daily Hospodářské noviny, who is following developments in Brussels.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš left for a key EU summit in Brussels, which is to shape the alliances’ finances in the coming years, in a fighting spirit. The Czech Republic, a member of the Friends of Cohesion group, faces a 24 percent cut in funds and will vehemently oppose the EU proposal to channel the bulk of a much smaller EU budget into new priorities, such as climate and innovation.
As of January the UK has officially left the European Union and a new relationship is currently being negotiated between the two international actors. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs is doing its best to ensure that Czech expats apply for “settled status” in Britain. However, questions regarding future agreements on programmes that have thus far been key in fostering a strong Czech presence in the UK remain.
After a night of negotiations in Brussels, EU leaders, with the exception of Poland, have agreed to the European Commission’s Green Deal plan, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. One of those who can celebrate is Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who succeeded in having a provision under which some countries can add nuclear power to their energy mix added to the treaty.
As the European Commission prepares to outline its Green Deal on Wednesday, the Czech branch of Greenpeace has staged a protest in Prague against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš who looks like he might be the only European leader to block the EU’s decision to become carbon neutral by 2050. On Monday evening, Greenpeace activists symbolically set the government building on fire, screening images of flames on its façade.
A European Commission audit has found Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to be in a conflict of interest over EU subsidies paid to the Agrofert holding he founded and placed in a trust fund two years ago, the weekly magazine Respekt reported on Sunday. The European Commission has told Czech Radio this is the final version of the audit first leaked in preliminary form earlier this year. However, Mr. Babis and his regional development minister insist it is not.
Incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's new team of commissioners was confirmed in office by a vote of the European Parliament on Wednesday. The EC’s first female president promised a transformation that would touch “every part of the EU’s society and economy”, with the fight against climate change at the top of her list.
Government delegations from 17 EU member states, known as the “Friends of Cohesion”, are meeting in Prague on Tuesday to discuss a united position on the EU’s budget for 2021–2027. They have issued a joint declaration which states that the future EU budget should include the same level of cohesion funding, but states should be given more flexibility in how they use it.