15th February 2018

Grayling CZ Political Digest

Despite the numerous hiccups accompanying the current government of prime minister Andrej Babiš – the failed vote of confidence last month, the lengthy negotiations with other potential coalition partners, and not forgetting the infamous police investigation into the potential EU subsidy fraud surrounding the Stork’s Nest case – it seems nothing can diminish the determination of this administration to govern, Grayling Czech Republic writes in their latest political digest.

The PM has submitted the government’s resignation to the re-elected president Miloš Zeman, but this doesn’t prevent the administration from acting as a regular government and making numerous changes to the most important positions at ministries and key public institutions.

For example, the health minister Adam Vojtěch faced a backlash from the media and other politicians when he decided to remove Svatopluk Němeček – the former Social Democrat health minister – from the management of Ostrava University Hospital.

However, the president himself has confirmed that Babiš will have unlimited time to form a government in his second attempt. Furthermore, just this week the Slovak authorities confirmed the courts’ ruling that Babiš had been listed as an agent/informant of the state security under the Communists. So it remains to be seen if yet another scandal surrounding the PM might knock his “licence to govern”.


Brand new Mr Digital
As one of the priorities of the new government under the ANO movement’s leadership is digitisation and overall improvements in the digital agenda in the Czech Republic, the government has appointed a new coordinator for IT and digitisation, Vladimír Dzurilla. The director of the State‘s Treasury Centre for Shared Services is expected to be the key person responsible for the coordination of all efforts in this sector across the ministries. He will draw on the support of staff at the Ministry of the Interior, which is responsible for part of the digital agenda.

The media and experts have been speculating about a potential merger of two major state IT companies where Dzurilla is a director. According to some experts, the merger of NAKIT (National Agency for Communications and IT), which has recently come under the purview of  Dzurilla and the State‘s Treasury Centre for Shared Services (SPCSS), is logical, especially considering how difficult it would be to manage two companies at the same time. However, we should not expect this unification soon. Realistically, this is a matter of two or three years, or perhaps even the next parliamentary term.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic