World » Europe
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

European Union nears its political death

The European Union is literally falling apart. Poland and the Czech Republic refused to sign the Lisbon Treaty after Ireland did the same. Germany’s decision to delay the approval of the Treaty became another fly in the ointment. It is only the USA that benefits from such a state of affairs in the EU. The United States will be able to weaken the European Union through the deployment of its missile defense system in Europe. On the other hand, Czech President Vaclav Klaus has his own reasons to have no special liking of the Lisbon Treaty, without Washington’s implication whatsoever.

European experts were originally concerned about Poland’s unpredictable behavior. However, the reaction of Polish President Lech Kaczynski turned out to be a lot more unpredictable than anyone could ever expect. It is worthy of note that it happened after Brussels had agreed to make all possible concessions on the European Constitution to Warsaw. The whole of Europe breathed with relief when Poland signed and ratified the Lisbon Agreement in December 2007.

There was very little left for Lech Kaczynski to do: to put his signature once again on the document which he had already approved. However, it suddenly occurred to him that Poland did not need the Lisbon Treaty at all. The Lisbon Treaty became useless in an instant. Poland refused to sign the Treaty on July 1, when France replaced Slovenia as the chairing state of the European Union.

Poland thus became a thorn in the side of not only Europe on the whole, but French President Nicolas Sarkozy in particular. Sarkozy has too many home problems to deal with. Now he has to think about a way to preserve the unity of the European Union without undermining France’s authority.

Germany delayed the signing of the Lisbon Treaty too. The unexpected complication occurred in the Constitutional Court of Germany, which received several lawsuits questioning the conformity of the Treaty with the German Constitution. Far-right political forces and even former communists believed that the Lisbon Treaty restrains Germany’s interests and brings positive changes only to new members of the European Union.

Like Germany, the Czech Republic has big doubts about the need to sign the Lisbon Treaty. Czech President Vaclav Klaus described the events with the Lisbon Treaty as its funeral. The president also said that the negative outcome of the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland marked the victory of democracy and reason over the European bureaucracy. Klaus believes that the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty must not be continued after the negative voting in Ireland.

The Lisbon Treaty may thus come into effect at the end of the current year at best. Other members of the European Union will have enough time to question the need of signing the document.

Poland has preserved its previous political course and the aspiration to prove that it is not the last country in Europe. Poland used to put obstacles on the way of EU-Russia relations. Nowadays, it puts a spoke in the wheels of the European Union.

Some may recall the glorious Soviet times, when Poland virtually destroyed the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. It seems like Poland is now willing to do the same with the European Union. Western experts do not rule out a possibility that Poland will offer France a different deal. It may agree to approve the Lisbon Treaty in return to Ukraine’s membership in NATO.

It is an open secret that Poland and the Czech Republic have been closely cooperating with the USA on the missile defense issue recently. To put it in a nutshell, these two countries have been playing to the tune of the USA despite the concerns of other EU members.

However, unlike his Polish counterpart, the Czech president has not been following USA’s directions strictly. Vaclav Klaus did not support the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. He stood up against the war in Iraq and the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. In addition, Vaclav Klaus does not share the stance of approaching the European Union as a supranational structure. Quite of the contrary, Klaus supports the idea of Europe of separate states.

As for the missile defense issue, even a kid understands that it is insane to intercept North Korean or Iranian missiles over Europe. To crown it all, it is ridiculous to believe that ten interceptors will be able to stop hundreds of Russian ballistic missiles. It is not ruled out that the USA plans to deploy its missile defense system in Europe because the missiles will be aimed at Europe itself, not against Iran or Russia.

Sergei Balmasov, Vadim Trukhachev
Pravda.ru

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Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases