The Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania this week blocked a joint
declaration by the member states of the European Union criticising the US
for transferring its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the
Czech News Agency reported. The moved, decided by President Donald Trump,
will take place on Monday.
The EU has long advocated a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Israelis see Jerusalem as their “eternal and undivided” capital but the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, as the capital of a future state.
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.
Though long based in Wales, where he teaches at the Cardiff School of Law and Politics, Professor Jiří Přibáň is a regular commentator on politics in his native Czech Republic. Last week I discussed the rise of populism, the chances of a vote on leaving the EU and the outlook for Czech liberals with the sociologist and theorist of law and constitutionalism. But I first asked Jiří Přibáň how Andrej Babiš’s ANO had, in little over five years, succeeded in becoming the dominant force in Czech politics.
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.
Criminal charges have been pressed against four individuals and one company
connected with the suspected disappearance of millions of litres of fuel
stored in Germany as part of the Czech state’s emergency reserves,
according to Czech Radio.
Police suspect fraud in the disappearance of the fuel stocks held at one stage in Germany by the company Viktoriagruppe from 2015. One of those charged is the former owner of the company, Petr Malý.
When the company went bust and Czechs sought the return of the fuel, the significant shortfall was discovered. Police suspect it might never have been delivered to German storage at all. Damages are estimated at 108 million crowns by the state prosecutor.
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.
Attending an informal EU summit on financing post-Brexit on Friday, Czech
Prime Andrej Babiš said his country wanted to be able to decide where to
channel the money it was granted from EU cohesion funds.
Mr. Babiš said that while it was understandable that certain conditions would have to be met, individual states themselves should be allowed to decide on their given priorities, particularly since the money available would be significantly reduced in the coming years and the difference between contributions and subsidies would diminish.
As regards the method of selecting a new Commission president, Mr. Babiš said a new head of the European Commission should be chosen by national presidents and prime ministers and not be dictated by who wins European Parliament elections. The current system in place means that the lead party candidate from European Parliament elections are effectively shoehorned into the job. That was the case with current incumbent Jean-Claude Juncker with national governments largely left to rubber stamp a fait accompli.