Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said that in order to stem the flow of economic migrants into the EU, the border protection agency Frontex needs a clear mandate allowing its agents to operate “outside of Europe”. In a statement to the European Commission on Monday, Babiš also said that Frontex needs “more than just a few boats” to do its job and therefore must be better funded.
The timing could hardly have been less inopportune. On the very day newly-reappointed Prime Minister Andrej Babiš took the oath of office at Prague Castle – in which he pledged to fight corruption in government and for “Czech national interests in the European Union” – in Brussels, the EU’s anti-fraud office released its annual report highlighting efforts to combat the very same kind of fraud Mr Babiš is himself accused of having orchestrated.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Monday sharply rejected the idea that the Czech Republic should pay some form of compensation for not accepting migrant quotas. In response to proposals floated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the weekend, Mr. Babiš said the Czech people and Czech firms themselves would decide who would live and work in this country.
The European Commission is due to unveil its long term proposal about how big EU funds should be, where they are directed, and which countries will turn out to be the biggest beneficiaries and paymasters. All indications are that dramatic changes are in the pipeline, something that the Czech Republic appears to have reservations about.
Auto associations from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary, have met in Prague to compare their responses to crucial European proposals for further curbing emissions of key pollutants. The future emission limits are clearly aimed at paving the way for low emission and no emission vehicles, such as electric cars. And that represents a radical challenge to the sector across the region.
The newly-appointed Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini held talks with Czech top officials in Prague on Wednesday on what was his first foreign trip since taking office. Twenty-five years after splitting up, the two neighbor states are cooperating closely to defend their national interests and boost their position in the EU.
A new directive was announced by the European Commission on Wednesday which spells the end of dual quality in numerous international brand foods and other products across different EU countries. The quality of ingredients in some brand name items was for years inferior in parts of the former communist bloc. Prague and other newer EU members have long pressed for legislation threatening companies continuing the practice with stiff fines.
Consumers in the Czech Republic and other parts of the former Eastern Bloc look like getting positive news this week with EU officials due to put forward new guidelines against dual standards in food and other products. A Czech MEP says that while only a first step, the rules should ultimately prove useful.
Almost 80 percent of locally-based companies are disturbed by a recent debate in the Czech Republic about a referendum on leaving the European Union, suggests a new survey. And over a quarter of firms would consider upping sticks if what has been dubbed Czexit were to actually take place, the study indicates.