Andrej Babis Agrofert

Petr Dubinsky

Babis: Conflict Of Interest Under EU, Czech Laws

The European Commission has determined that Andrej Babis has a conflict of interest under both Czech and EU Law.

According to Brussels, Prime Minister Babis is in a conflict of interest. According to the audit, the fact that he influences subsidy policy and at the same time, profits from it through Agrofert, is contrary to EU rules.

The final document has arrived in Prague this week at the Ministry for Regional Development.

According to sources, the audit found Babis in a conflict of interest under both European and Czech law. This could call into question previous and future subsidies for Agrofert, both subsidies from European funds and entitlement to money from the Czech budget.

The Ministry is not going to publish the audit yet. “The Ministry for Regional Development has received an audit report, which will be brought to the attention of the responsible employees on Monday. The European Commission once again asks for confidential treatment of the document, as the proceedings are still ongoing. This is definitely not the final form of the audit report. Within two months of receiving the Czech version of the report, the Czech Republic’s comments and possible comments on the report may be submitted. These will be prepared, as well as the response to the draft audit report, in cooperation with all the ministries concerned,” Vilém Frček, a spokesman for the MRD, wrote to Respekt about the publication.

Babis will challenge the audit.

But the fact is, the audit is done. This was repeatedly confirmed on Monday by several representatives of the European Commission. The auditors have already completed their work and submitted the text to the European Commission. The possibility of contradicting something, as Babiš speaks of does not concern the audit itself, but the Czech reaction to it. This reaction – and the real impact of the audit – will now be debated between the European Commission and the Czech Republic.

“It’s the final audit report. The Czech Republic now has two months to send information to the Commission on how it implements the recommendations of the audit report,” said Spokeswoman of the European Commission Delegation in Prague, Magdalena Frouzová, for Respekt.