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Publikacijos užsienio žiniasklaidoje

Poland's leaders have opened a Pandora's box for new Europe (2007 07 02)

By Justas Paleckis

Published: June 29 2007 03:00

From Justas Paleckis MEP


Sir, The behaviour of the Polish government attracted a lot of attention on the eve of and during the European Council meeting. Poland may want to claim the victory of its president-prime minister duo's "Battle of Voting", but in reality, I believe, they have lost the Brussels war.

Statements made by the Polish leaders show how dangerous the "history card" can be when played from a nationalist point of view, while creating a virtual reality by asking: "What if . . . ?" The Kaczynski brothers have opened a Pandora's box by trying to secure as allies those millions of Poles who, alas, perished during the war, aiming at a narrow-minded, national-oriented political goal. Many eastern and central European nations will be tempted to follow the same path that leads nowhere. Warsaw has created a situation where a two-tier Europe could become reality and EU unity a dream.

Consciously or not, in the government headquarters of many European capitals the question comes up more and more frequently: why did we admit to the EU those immature fellows who are waging endless wars with the Russians, the Germans, and lately between themselves? Maybe it is better to let them remain on the periphery and to build a core Europe where wealthy and wise European countries would be united.

The new EU countries are forgiven much, because they suffered a lot, they don't quite know the rules of the club, they aren't yet coping at home. But the patience of EU old-timers could crack. In the first place, the EU musketeer ambition of "one for all and all for one" could suffer. It is feasible and necessary to support an EU member state if it is in the right, if it behaves thoughtfully and with balance. I am afraid that Poland's epic struggles to break into the Russian market will now come under microscopic scrutiny.

New EU countries have not yet forgotten the former French president's statement, when he gallantly pointed out that they had missed a good opportunity to keep silent rather than supporting the American war in Iraq. I suspect the statements of Poland's president and prime minister will be remembered even longer in many EU capitals.

The reform treaty will give us a mechanism allowing a country to leave the EU. I hope we will not need a mechanism allowing a country to be expelled from the EU.


Justas Paleckis,

Socialist Group in the European Parliament

(Ex Ambassador for Lithuania to the UK

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007


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