In political U-turn, Czechs back EU’s green recovery plan

(EurActiv, 25 May 2020) A draft statement from the Czech government calls on the EU economic recovery plan and long-term budget to fall in line with the European Green Deal, marking a U-turn from Prague’s earlier positions.

“The Czech Republic continues to support the EU’s long-term target to achieve climate neutrality by 2050,” said the draft statement, which the government is expected to approve on Monday (25 May).

While the coronavirus crisis has made social and economic concerns more pressing, the “implementation of some of the European Green Deal objectives may represent an opportunity for an effective process of economic recovery,” it added.

The statement has already been endorsed by Czech environment minister Richard Brabec and is due to be formally approved by the full cabinet later today, according to Czech media reports.

If confirmed, the move would mark a U-turn from previous government positions. In March, as the coronavirus pandemic started spreading across the continent, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš urged Europe to “forget about the Green Deal now and focus on the coronavirus instead”.