Motion for a resolution - B8-0585/2018Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on conflicts of interest and the protection of the EU budget in the Czech Republic

11.12.2018 - (2018/2975(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Nedzhmi Ali, Morten Løkkegaard on behalf of the ALDE Group

Procedure : 2018/2975(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on conflicts of interest and the protection of the EU budget in the Czech Republic


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 13(2) and Article 17(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the distribution of competences in shared management as set out in the new Financial Regulation,

–  having regard to the entry into force of the new Financial Regulation on 2 August 2018, and in particular to Article 61 thereof,

–  having regard to the OECD Guidelines on distinguishing between actual, apparent and potential conflict of interest,

–  having regard to the official complaint filed by Transparency International with the European Commission regarding the potential conflict of interest in the Czech Republic,

–  having regard to the hearings with Commissioner Hogan on 25 October 2018, with Commissioner Creţu on 19 November 2018, with the Secretary-General of the Commission on 20 November 2018 and with Commissioner Oettinger on 3 December 2018 held by the Budgetary Control Committee,

–  having regard to the exchange of views with the Commission’s DG BUDG at the CONT committee meeting on 20 November 2018 on the Commission's implementation of Article 61 of the new Financial Regulation on conflicts of interest in Member States,

–  having regard to the written answers given by the Commission within the framework of the 2017 discharge procedure, especially to question nos 50 and 51 addressed to Commissioner Oettinger, no 35 addressed to Commissioner Creţu and no 66 addressed to the Secretary-General of the Commission,

–  having regard to the reply sent by Czech Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, to Commissioner Oettinger on 10 December 2018,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Czech Republic is part of the enhanced cooperation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO), and has integrated and effectively used the Commission-developed IT tool Arachne – a useful tool for conducting risk analysis and combating fraud, conflicts of interest and irregularities – in its own management and control system;

B.  whereas the Commission has failed to inform Parliament on the outcome of the complaint procedure initiated on the basis of a complaint filed by Transparency International;

C.  whereas in one of her written replies submitted to the CONT committee, Commissioner Creţu underlined the fact that all Commission audits conducted so far in the Czech Republic ‘included, as part of the normal audit questionnaire in use, the verification of the absence of conflict of interest, in particular at the stage of selection of operations. The conclusions from these audits at that time were that the audited management and control systems work, with some improvements needed (category 2 assessment). The Commission has also obtained evidence during its re-performance of the work of the audit authority that regular Czech audits appropriately cover the issue of prevention of conflict of interest’;

D.  whereas in her reply to the 2017 discharge procedure, Commissionner Creţu stated ‘The Czech authorities are cooperating loyally on this request and have provided the requested information in the timeframe necessary to coordinate all concerned programmes’;

E.  whereas in the CONT committee, Commissioner Oettinger stated that the Commission was waiting for a reply from the Czech authorities to a Commission letter on the issue of conflict of interest and that the Commission would draw conclusions only once all evidence had been gathered and analysed;

F.  whereas Commissioner Oettinger replied that ‘Following the modified provisions of Article 61 of the Financial Regulation 1046/2018 in force for shared management since August this year, the Commission is assessing whether further requirements and adjustments to measures already in place have to be asked from Member States. In this context, the Commission will collect information from the Member States in order to assess the adequacy of the internal control systems in place. It will also exchange views with the programme authorities and provide guidance before the end of the year’;

G.  whereas between 10 and 12 December 2018, DG BUDG provided training to national authorities on the implementation of the new Financial Regulation;

H.  whereas the Czech Prime Minister replied to the Commission letter assuring that ‘the Czech Republic will respect its obligations deriving from its membership in the European Union and that I personally will undertake all necessary measures to ensure full compliance of my activities with EU legislation’.

1.  Calls on the Czech authorities to ensure full compliance with the new Financial Regulation and to take all necessary measures to address situations that may objectively be perceived as a conflict of interest;

2.  Calls on the Czech Government to swiftly deliver on the commitments made in its letter of reply to the Commission and to guarantee that all activities supported by EU assistance fully comply with EU legislation, and that any concerns about a potential conflict of interest are removed;

3.  Asks the Commission to notify Parliament on the outcome of the complaint procedure as soon as possible;

4.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution in order to encourage the Commission to monitor the conformity of national systems with EU requirements and audit the Member States’ internal control systems according to the new Financial Regulation.


Last updated: 11 December 2018
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