The government agreed to a record low CZK 1.24 billion budget for the country’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2022 on Monday, without the votes of minority coalition partner the Social Democrats. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) says that the country can manage the council with much fewer officials and resources than other member states. However, multiple Social Democrat ministers called the budget insufficient.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) said that the effectiveness of the Czech presidency was being put at stake, highlighting that the approved amount is some CZK 500 million behind the budgets of similar sized countries.
When the Czech Republic last held the presidency in 2009, the government approved a budget of CZK 3.75 billion. The current prime minister pledged to at least halve this number earlier in 2019.