Czech Republic moves up in corruption perception rankings

February 2018
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Czech Republic moves up in corruption perception rankings. The Czech Republic has slightly improved its standing in watchdog Transparency Internationals’ annual Corruption Perception Index for 2017. Under TI’s criteria, the country picked up 57 points compared to 55 in 2016. The country has moved to 42nd spot in the worldwide rankings, but it still lags behind the EU average by eight points. In Europe, the Czech Republic climbed to 18th spot from last year’s 19th, but still found itself behind all of the Baltic States and Poland. Transparency International’s annual Index has rated countries by perceived levels of corruption since 1995 on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being very corrupt and 100 being very clean.


Czech government resigns as PM fights corruption allegations

January 2018
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Czech government resigns as PM fights corruption allegations.The Czech Republic’s minority government has resigned, plunging the country into deeper political turmoil, as its recently installed Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, fights allegations that he abused an EU subsidy programme a decade ago. Wednesday’s resignation – a month after Babiš’ appointment – came a day after the government resoundingly lost a vote of confidence it had to win to stay in office.


Czech Prime Minister Stripped of Immunity

January 2018
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Czech Prime Minister Stripped of Immunity. The Czech Parliament has voted to strip Prime Minister Andrej Babis of immunity, leaving him open to prosecution for fraud charges amounting to over US$ 2 million. Babis told lawmakers to revoke his immunity last week, Reuters reported. And he denies the fraud allegations against him and Jaroslav Faltynek, the deputy chairman of his ANO party. Babis is a billionaire—the second richest man in the Czech Republic—and faces police charges that he hid his company’s ownership of an upscale hotel complex so that it would qualify for millions of dollars’ worth of EU small-business subsidies. 


Czech republic considering adoption of Lobbying Act

January 2018
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Czech republic considering adoption of Lobbying Act. Right before the general election, the Czech government approved a material proposal for the Lobbying Act. This piece of proposed legislation is supposed to shed light on otherwise “members only” process of legislation and government influencing. Last fall, the Czech government anti-corruption committee (“corruption committee”) finally introduced its material proposal for the Lobbying Act. The proposal is a result of the long-term efforts of the previous government to oust undesired influence and corruption from the legislative process. The anti-corruption committee, created by the Czech government as its advisory body, has designed various ways (some more radical than others) to approach the issue that, if enacted, could change how lobbying is conducted in the Czech Republic.


Andrej Babis: Czech police seek to prosecute prospective PM for alleged fraud

November 2017
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Andrej Babis: Czech police seek to prosecute prospective PM for alleged fraud. Police suspect the Czech Republic's billionaire prime minister in-waiting illegally tapped into €2 million in EU subsidies almost 10 years ago. Now, Andrej Babis, could see his immunity lifted by parliament. Czech police requested that prospective Prime Minister Andrej Babis' immunity to be lifted by the lower house, the Prague district attorney's office revealed. Babis, a billionaire farm products and media tycoon, stands accused of hiding ownership of his Stork's Nest farm and convention center almost a decade ago to illegally tap into some €2 million in European subsidies aimed at small businesses.


Addressing the need for further action in Europe to prevent corruption

November 2017
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Addressing the need for further action in Europe to prevent corruption in respect of MPs, judges and prosecutors – Conference in Prague. The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic organised a conference in Prague on 9 and 10 November to discuss stepping up the implementation of measures to prevent corruption in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors in European states. Held in the framework of the Czech Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the conference brought together representatives from GRECO’s 49 member states as well as experts in the field of preventing and fighting corruption. Participants examined trends and best practices, as well as a new GRECO report summarising the main conclusions of its country evaluations covering the prevention of corruption in respect of MPs, judges and prosecutors.


GRECO president in Prague: Without good people, even a perfect law is futile

November 2017
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GRECO president in Prague: Without good people, even a perfect law is futile. GRECO's President Marin Mrčela spoke about the Czech Republic’s track record in fighting corruption, the recommendations for improvement that GRECO has made and how much progress the country has made since joining GRECO in 2002.


Czech election front-runner charged with subsidy fraud

October 2017
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Czech election front-runner charged with subsidy fraud. Czech prime minister candidate Andrej Babiš was formally charged with fraud in a case involving a €2 million EU subsidy, local media reported Monday. Police filed charges against Babiš, a former finance minister, and his deputy Jaroslav Faltýnek for subsidy fraud linked to a farm and conference center nearly a decade ago. Babiš is believed to be behind a plan to acquire the EU funds that were only meant for small businesses.


Czech lawmakers awarded for fight against corruption

September 2017
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Czech lawmakers awarded for fight against corruption. Prague, Sept 21 (CTK) - The group Reconstruction of the State awarded eight members of the Czech Chamber of Deputies and three members of the Senate for most actively promoting nine anti-corruption laws. These included the laws on the register of agreements, on the financing of parties and on the register of politicians' property. The main prizes went to the Chamber of Deputies deputy chairmen Radek Vondracek (ANO) and Petr Gazdik (Mayors and Independents, STAN), chairman of Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) deputy group Jiri Mihola, Jan Farsky (STAN) and Jan Sedlacek (ANO).


Czech Parliament Strips Leading Candidate for PM of Immunity; Corruption Charges Ahead

August 2017
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Czech Parliament Strips Leading Candidate for PM of Immunity; Corruption Charges Ahead. Czech lawmakers stripped Andrej Babis - the leading candidate for prime minister in the upcoming October election - of his legal immunity Wednesday, allowing police to charge him with financial fraud. Babis has been accused of hiding ownership of a firm he owns in order to receive a US$ 2.29 million state subsidy intended to go toward helping small businesses in 2008, media reported.