Dominika Pszczółkowska

Dominika Pszczolkowska is a Polish journalist. Since 2007 she has been the Brussels correspondent for Gazeta Wyborcza, the largest Polish quality daily.
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No thanks to the Czechs

The Czech Senate has ratified the Lisbon Treaty. I'm glad, but certainly not grateful to the Czech politicians. Their behaviour of the last months has caused damage which will take a long time to repair.

For months, long after others lost any hope, I was a fan of the Czech presidency of the EU (see here). They did win and kept some points with me for their management of the Russia - Ukraine energy crisis, their pushing for common EU energy project, and generally for being the underdog, criticised by the French even before they started.

But as time went by even I lost hope. With the toppling of their government and the squabbling around the Lisbon Treaty they have done huge damage not only to their own reputation, but that of other "new" countries as well.

I recently interviewed Daniel Gros, the head of the Brussels Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), and I think he expressed well how Western Europeans see us "Easterners": not having enough community spirit, still not quite capable of defending our own interests, but within the bounds of the common good in the EU. This today concerns principally the Czechs (as it did the Poles in the Kaczyński era) but is rubbing off on others as well.

The behaviour of the Czech political elites (with the exception of a few like Mr. Vondra or Mr. Topolanek, who did a good job) will contribute to prolonging the division into "old" and "new" member states, which is still present.

Not ratifying the Lisbon Treaty would have been the last straw from the Czechs. But the fact that they have is certainly not enough to wash off their sins of the last months. Just a rare show of logic on their part.

środa, 06 maja 2009, dominique

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