EC lifts two-year ban on Czech access to funds from Operational Program for Enterprise and Innovation
The European Commission has lifted a two-year- freeze banning the Czech Republic from accessing funds from the EU’s Operational Program for Enterprise and Innovation. The move was made in connection with a number of dubious public tenders and it left the Czech Republic financing all ensuing projects from state coffers.
This is primarily good news for the government since all projects that were put forward and approved in the meantime were funded from state coffers. The respective documentation on the projects was sent to Brussels and the money for their financing can now be reimbursed. The 38 billion crowns which the country will now be able to draw will be a significant contribution to state coffers. The only exception concerns two projects which Brussels found fault with and which caused it to withhold 3.4 billion crowns from the overall sum. In one case Brussels protested against the fact that the Chamber of Commerce supervised the Chamber of Commerce and there were also reservations with respect to a project put forward by the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank.
The Czech Finance Ministry on Monday welcomed the renewed flow of EU funds and the government has stressed it will learn from its predecessor’s mistakes and do everything possible to avoid similar problems in the future. In the 2014 to 2020 period the Program for Enterprise and Innovation would enable the Czech Republic to access the equivalent of 116 billion crowns.