Supreme Audit Office inspectors concerned over environment ministry’s use of EU funds
The Supreme Audit Office has expressed concern over the Czech Environment Ministry’s use of EU funds awarded to fight pollution and lower emissions. Inspectors from the office said Monday that even though the country does not meet most of the union’s emission limits, only a small portion of funds from the Operational Program “Environment” has been used to fight pollution and lower emissions to date. Inspectors said that while 18 billion crowns had been earmarked for the Czech Republic for the years 2007 to 2013, the total budget of projects approved by the ministry nearly four years after the start of the program amounted to only 1.5 billion crowns. This was connected to the Czech Republic’s unfavorable legal situation regarding air pollution. NKU inspectors have warned that the European Commission may call for sanctions to be imposed on the Czech Republic over its violation of emission limits should the funds not be used by 2013.