Prague unable to meet EC deadline for mechanism against conflict of interest

The Czech Republic will not be able to meet the EC’s deadline by which it was to have introduced an effective control mechanism to detect and prevent conflict of interest, the Czech government acknowledged on Monday. The deadline will expire on September 8 and the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked for a postponement.

The European Commission recently warned Prague that unless the government introduces an effective control mechanism against conflict of interest it may suspend further payment of subsidies until it does. The Czech Republic was asked to compile a list of all officials in high posts who own companies or have placed them in trust funds as well as any EU subsidies these firms received since September 2017 and make it available to the European Commission.

The European Commission concluded earlier this year that Prime Minister Andrej Babiš continues to influence the multi-billion crown corporation Agrofert he established, even after he placed it into trust funds. This has been a matter of contention between Prague and the EC for some time.