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The EU’s €140M ‘zombie committee’ faces pressure to reform

The EU’s €140M ‘zombie committee’ faces pressure to reform

It costs upwards of €140 million a year to run, produces views on EU laws that few policymakers actually read, and has failed to deal with claims of “psychological harassment” by one of its senior members. “Very few lawmakers are reading the opinions of this committee. The impact is close to zero,” said Tomáš Zdechovský, a European People’s Party MEP. “It’s a zombie committee that lost its purpose but still lives on.”

Czech centre-right parties form alliance to defeat Babiš

Czech centre-right parties form alliance to defeat Babiš

Three centre-right Czech parties haven signed a memorandum on forming an alliance for the next year’s general elections. The aim of Civic Democrats (ECR), Christian Democrats (EPP) and TOP 09 (EPP) is to defeat the ruling ANO party (Renew) of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. EURACTIV Czech Republic reports.

Call for a FoRB Special Envoy

Call for a FoRB Special Envoy

On 14 October 2020, forty-six Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) including Tomas Zdechovsky, wrote a letter to the President and Vice President of the European Commission requesting the appointment of the Special Envoy for the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union.

EU must not let Bangladesh’s workers down

EU must not let Bangladesh’s workers down

The EU has shaped the future of Bangladesh by the opening of its markets. Now it is time for the Union to make sure that companies operating on these markets play by the rules.

Poland and Commission clash over official accused of harassment at EU body

Poland and Commission clash over official accused of harassment at EU body

Controversy comes as the European Parliament is set to reject financial approval for the EESC. Zdechovský, who is leading the parliament's budget oversight for the EESC, said the EU body had done too little to help the victims of alleged misconduct and adopt measures that would allow it to sanction EESC members in the future. "Why haven't victims of the incident been offered help so that they could resume their work in their previous units or positions? Why hasn't even a scandal of such a magnitude speeded up a lengthy reform of the code of conduct for members?" he asked, adding: "Unfortunately, still too many statements of the EESC's secretariat and presidency only stay on the paper."

Political rift causes Europe’s top acoustic piano producer to lose Chinese contract

Political rift causes Europe’s top acoustic piano producer to lose Chinese contract

The traditional Czech family business that is the largest producer of acoustic grand and upright pianos in Europe, Petrof, has apparently lost a contract to supply instruments worth €200,000 to China, due to the visit of Czech senate chair Milos Vystrcil to Taiwan, the Czech News Agency reported on September 4. MEP Tomas Zdechovsky offered help.

 Employment and social affairs MEPs debate the right to disconnect

Employment and social affairs MEPs debate the right to disconnect

On Monday 7 September the Employment and Social Affairs meeting featured the presentation of the draft report by rapporteur Alex AGIUS SALIBA (S&D, MT) on the right to disconnect.

‘Chaos’ at EU body after official refuses to resign over harassment probe

‘Chaos’ at EU body after official refuses to resign over harassment probe

Jacek Krawczyk has longstanding harassment allegations against him and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) leadership bureau therefore formally requested his resign in June. The polish group president still clings to position, defying his superiors. Tomáš Zdechovský, the MEP responsible for leading discussions on approving the EESC's budget within Parliament, said lawmakers will discuss the matter during this week.

EPP Group says there should be no EU money for coutries breaching rule of law

EPP Group says there should be no EU money for coutries breaching rule of law

EPP Group’s Tomáš Zdechovský MEP and Petri Sarvamaa MEP said that “Every Member State that wants to receive EU money must stick to the basic principles of democracy and the rule of law. There must be conditionality. The EU is not a cash machine for countries that disregard fundamental rules”.

EU´s covid-19 response

EU´s covid-19 response

Mrs president Ursula von der Leyen answered to my letter from March about EU´s covid-19 response. EC is making many measures not only to avoid a deep economic crisis in the EU but also to protect European citizens. Read more about all corona response initiatives in short and useful overview.

EU is still missing comprehensive EU strategy on Mental Health

EU is still missing comprehensive EU strategy on Mental Health

"While there are many current initiatives addressing mental health, we are still missing comprehensive EU strategy on Mental Health. As MEP Alliance for Mental Health, our long-term aim is to push Commission to propose such a strategy, taking into account the cross-sectoral impact of different policies on mental health. The approach of the Commission has been very hesitant but we clearly see the support of the member states and pressure from the Parliament so believe that soon we will also see development on the side of the Commission," says Tomas Zdechovský, co-chair of MEP Alliance for mental health.

Turów mine cutting access to water at EP Petitions Committee

Turów mine cutting access to water at EP Petitions Committee

The European Parliament Petitions Committee will discuss tomorrow an initiative of Czech-Polish border region, Liberec, where tens of thousands of people will lose access to drinking water after Polish coal mine Turów extended its activity. Both the petitioners and Members will want to know what the results of the European Commission investigation to the impact of the mining are during the meeting on Tuesday 14 July at 9:00.

European Parliament members' offices burgled during lockdown

European Parliament members' offices burgled during lockdown

Brussels (CNN)Thieves have taken advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to break into the offices of the European Parliament, according to a member who spoke to CNN.

EU Parliament hits back at Czech PM in fund misuse row

EU Parliament hits back at Czech PM in fund misuse row

European Parliament president David Sassoli on Tuesday rejected claims by the Czech prime minister Andrej Babis that the institution interferes in Czech internal affairs.

German Green party politician's strange and illogical thinking on Czech nuclear power

German Green party politician's strange and illogical thinking on Czech nuclear power

Before criticizing Czech attitude towards nuclear power, German Greens should get their position straight, writes Czech MEP Tomáš Zdechovský.

Top Czech officials go on the offensive over European Parliament criticism of PM Babis

Top Czech officials go on the offensive over European Parliament criticism of PM Babis

Both Czech Prime Minister Andre Babis and Minister for Regional Development Klara Dostalova have criticised MEPs following the adoption of a European Parliament (EP) resolution regarding Babis’ conflict of interest over the Agrofert company on June 19.

MEP in police protection after Czech PM calls him 'traitor'

MEP in police protection after Czech PM calls him 'traitor'

A group of MEPs who traveled to the Czech Republic earlier this year to verify the correct spending of EU funds received numerous death threats, with one having to get police protection for his entire family. The threats followed statements by prime minister Andrej Babis, who described the two Czech MEPs in the group as national traitors.

Open letter to European Commission due to the planned restriction on lead ammunition: REACH cannot be applied to hunters’ use of lead gunshots over wetlands

Open letter to European Commission due to the planned restriction on lead ammunition: REACH cannot be applied to hunters’ use of lead gunshots over wetlands

The current Commission proposal amending Annex XVII to the REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 which restricts the use of lead ammunition prohibits hunters to use or carry lead gunshots for shooting in or around wetlands within a radius of 100 meters. However, the REACH Regulation applies only to commercial operators to ensure that chemicals do not adversely affect human health or the environment. If REACH regulation should be applied even to hunters it would be unprecedented expansion of the scope of REACH.