20th November 2018, 11.00 - 13.00, European Parliament, Room 6Q1
Many signs indicate that Czech oligarch prime minister Babiš and his party are transforming state institutions into Babiš’s personal business empire, while conflicts of interest are ripe and independent media are under increasing pressure.
Join Czech journalists, authors and members of the EU Parliament, the Civil Liberties Union and Corporate Europe Observatory to discuss the erosion of democracy in the Czech Republic at the hands of its oligarch Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.
Please register by sending your name, nationality, date of birth and ID number to email@example.com by 13/11/2018.
The election of oligarch Andrej Babiš as Czech Prime Minister in 2017 has been widely regarded a symbol of the erosion of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. Babiš not only controls the fast growing agrochemical giant Agrofert and the ruling political party ANO, but also media outlets incl. two major newspapers.
Since he came to power, pressure on public media has increased dramatically and attempts to influence an investigation into alleged EU subsidies fraud at Babiš’s own farm. Many signs simultaneously point to the transformation of state institutions into Babiš’s personal business empire.
The debate with journalists Jakub Patočka (Deník Referendum, co-author of the book ‘Yellow Baron’), Pavel Šafr (editor-in-chief at Svobodné Fórum), Zuzana Vlasatá (Deník Referendum, co-author of the book ‘Yellow Baron’) and Head of Advocacy at the Civil Liberties Union Israel Butler will touch upon some of the central questions around Babiš and his administration, including:
- What's the aim of his political project?
- How did he rise to power?
- How is he wielding this power?
- How does he maintain popular support?
- What role does Babiš’s media empire play in his strategy?
- What are the consequences for freedom of speech in the Czech Republic?
- What lessons can be learned?
- What role can the EU play in tackling the worrying erosion of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe?
Corporate Europe Observatory's Olivier Hoedeman will be moderating the discussion and Czech MEP Jaromír Štětina will give some opening remarks.
Please do register by Tuesday 13 November by sending your details (name, nationality, date of birth, ID number) to firstname.lastname@example.org