Cronyism practices connected with the ruling party revealed in the recent Conservative Institute study on EU funds drawing at municipal level.
Numerous municipalities around Slovakia have made use of the external project management services of a single company under questionable circumstances. Transparency watchdogs have labelled this a potentially major case of cronyism in drawing EU funds and are calling on the European Commission to look into the matter.
On August 25 the Sme daily broke the story on the company Star EU, which has been extraordinarily successful in public procurements, winning 70 out of 70 bids that it applied for.
The circumstances of Star EU have been described in a study written by Ivan Kuhn from the non-governmental think tank Conservative Institute of M. R. ©tefánik. In May 2014, Kuhn, who is also a municipal politician in the town of Roľňava and the deputy chairman of the non-parliamentary Civic Conservative Party (OKS), reported on the peculiar way in which Star EU has won dozens of tenders in municipalities around Slovakia, mostly in those with mayors nominated by the ruling Smer party.
In the study, Kuhn charges that back in 2008, Star EU, a Slovak subsidiary of the Czech-based Star company, which specialises in advisory services for drawing EU funds, was recommended to mayors nominated by the ruling Smer party and by Smer politicians, and that the company has won all of the tenders it has been identified as having applied for.
Michaela Terenzani - Stanková. Article was published in the Slovakia`s English-language weekly The Slovak Spectator. Read the whole article here.