Andrej Babis European Union


Babis Calls EU Budget Draft Unacceptable

Andrej Babiš, European Union

Pardubice, East Bohemia, June 18 (CTK) – The European Union budget draft for the next programming period is unacceptable for the Czech government, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said today.


“It is imperfect just like the one for the current budget period,” he added.


According to him, the Union ordered the Czech Republic to implement programmes in 2014-2020 whose funding targets the social sphere to a large extent, however, the funds fail to be drawn.


Explaining why the draft is unacceptable, Babis said that Brussels tries again to push through those ideas, “and we need to put money in investments. That is why we are mapping out investment needs and want to negotiate for the next period as of 2021 to ensure that we do find the money and that it is not lost in training and retraining courses and the like,” Babis said.


The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry has been allocated Kc58bn within the current programming period, for example. However, the money is needed rather for investments in health care and education, Babis said.


The government will try to finance the Labour and Education Ministries’ programmes from the state budget, but “European (funding) should be used for investments so that … we could see where it is,” Babis said.


Within a new cohesion policy funding, the Czech Republic might get up to EUR17.8bn (about Kc454bn) in the 2021-27 period under the EC proposal at 2018 prices. In that period, states such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary will receive less than in the current period because of the new method of calculation, a solid economic performance and low unemployment. The Czechs might receive EUR20.1bn (over Kc512bn) including inflation.


The Czech Republic has been allotted nearly EUR24bn for the current period 2014-2020, according to information on the Structural Funds’ website.


Martin Netolicky, governor of the Pardubice Region, too, called for a bigger investment inflow for road and health care projects, for example.


The region is preparing investment health care projects worth some Kc2bn, which it is unable to finance without getting into debt, Netolicky said.


The Commission wants to cut subsidies for the common agricultural policy in 2021-2027 by about 5 percent and for the cohesion policy by about 7 percent. Those are funds used by the Czech Republic and other less developed countries in the central and eastern parts of the Union.


On the other hand, the EC wants to raise funding of security policies and investments in research and innovation, education and the digital economy.


Commitments related to the European Union’s 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework are estimated at EUR1,135bn (some Kc29,000bn), which is 1.11 percent of the Union’s gross national income, the Commission said.


Czech agriculture may obtain EUR7.7bn (some Kc199bn) during the next budget period. The Agriculture Ministry’s data of 2013 show that the sector may receive up to EUR8.2bn worth of European money in the current period.


June’s report of the Supreme Audit Office said the state had distributed a major portion of the Rural Development Programme’s funds among large companies.