PM under fire over preparations for EU presidency

21-10-2019

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is under fire from the opposition for the way his cabinet is handling preparations for the country’s next EU presidency in 2022.

The opposition Civic Democrats claim the prime minister is underestimating the opportunities the EU presidency affords and has failed to consult his cabinet’s plans and priorities with the opposition.

They are also critical of the fact that the government slashed the budget for the country’s EU presidency from the proposed 2.6 billion to 1.2 billion crowns. The country’s last EU presidency, ten years ago, cost 3.7 billion.

In an interview for Czech Television, Prime Minister Babiš countered that the institutions involved in preparations have hidden reserves and said he would make known his plans in due time. The prime minister said the presidency’s priorities would most likely be energy and the single market.