The European Parliament Thursday adopted a resolution raising concerns about conflict of interest and the use of EU money in the Czech Republic.
The Parliament “regrets that for a long time the Commission remained passive, despite there having been strong indications since 2014 that Mr [Andrej] Babiš had a conflict of interest in his role as Minister of Finance and later as Prime Minister,” the MEPs wrote in the resolution, which was approved with 434 MEPs voting in favor, 64 against, and 47 abstaining.
The business interests of Prime Minister Babiš have come under significantscrutiny, with the EU’s anti-fraud agency and the European Commission looking into potential irregularities. Agrofert, the prime minister’s large conglomerate, is a major recipient of EU funding through the Common Agricultural Policy.
The Parliament “urges the Commission to recover all funds that have been illegally or irregularly paid out,” MEPs wrote in the resolution, while also insisting on “full transparency on any connections Mr Babiš may have with the Agrofert Group, and that these must not interfere with his role as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.” They called on the Council “to take all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent conflicts of interest in the context of the negotiations of the future EU budget and the next multiannual financial framework.”
The prime minister, who has previously denied all wrongdoing, did not reply to a request for comment.