Daily: EU funds to have been used for promotion by Education Ministry

The country’s Education Ministry wanted to use EU funds for promotional purposes, Czech daily Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Tuesday. Items were to have been used to promote a project known as ‘VIP’, developing consultancy services at Czech schools. According to MF Dnes, the campaign was to have been split into two parts, with 967,000 crowns going towards ‘publicity’ and 1.1 million to have been allotted for promotional items, which also included items such as cups, keychain tags and chocolate. The shadow education minister for the opposition Social Democrats, Marcel Chládek, meanwhile, told the newspaper the order may have been split in order to circumvent the law: currently tenders are required in all projects costing more than two million crowns. In response, the ministry has stressed that plans for the campaign had been abolished. The new head of the project allegedly did not know details of the plan and cancelled it immediately once informed.

The European Commission recently criticised the management of Czech projects and drawing of subsidies from the Education for Competitiveness Operational Programme. The EC´s auditors found mistakes in public procurement and the commission has suspended the payment of 1.2 billion crowns in subsidies. The ministry faces the threat of the whole project – worth 53 billion crowns in funding – being stopped.

Author: Jan Velinger