‘Czech Trump’ Slams Wasteful EU Presidency, ‘Blathering with Sandwiches’

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 13: Czech Republic's Prime Minister Andrej Babis arrives at the European Council for the start of the two day EU summit on December 13, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Mrs May yesterday won a vote of confidence in her leadership among her own MPs 200 to 117. …
Dan Kitwood/Getty

The Czech Republic’s right-populist president Andrej Babiš has criticised the cost for host nations to hold the rotating Council of the European Union — one of seven presidents of the bloc.

The Central European country is set to take up the six-month presidency in the second half of 2022, with Politico.eu reporting that local media claims Mr Babiš made the comments during a Cabinet meeting this week.

While the premier — a wealthy businessman occasionally dubbed the Czech Trump — denied that his country would be pulling out of the rotating presidency, he did say that the considerable cost to holding the position for the Czech Republic would bring little benefit to the nation in return.

According to Czech daily Deník N, the last time the country held the presidency in 2009 it cost the country 3.5 billion Czech koruna (£116 million/$152m/€135m).

The European Union has been criticised for its perceived wasting of Europeans’ money on needless bureaucratic agencies.

The Council of the European Union is the voice of EU member governments, comprised of government ministers from each EU country. Its current national president is Romania.

That is not to be confused with the European Council — which is comprised of the heads of state of governments of EU countries, presided over by Donald Tusk.

There is also the European Commission, the unelected executive arm of the EU headed by Jean-Claude Juncker.

Antonio Tajani is the President of the European Parliament, comprised of Members of European Parliament (like Nigel Farage MEP) elected by regions across Europe. The EP has not one but two chambers — one in Strasbourg, France, and one in the EU capital Brussels, Belgium, and MEPs travel between the two. The Parliament’s Secretariat (its staff) are based in a third country: Luxembourg.

Those are the presidencies of the EU that readers may be familiar with. There are three others: President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi, President of the Court of Justice Koen Lenaerts, and President of the European Court of Auditors Klaus-Heiner Lehne.


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