Hooray! Today’s the day that the Lisbon Treaty finally comes into effect in the European Union! As a result, the Union’s operations will from now on supposdly be more transparent, more effective, and more democratic. Those, at least, are the three elements that made up the principal content of the Laeken Declaration issued by EU leaders at their summit in December, 2001, in which they noted how the actual operation and accomplishments of the Union had become disappointing to so many, and so called for the setting-up of a convention to consider what could be done about that.
Inevitably, there remain many within the boundaries of the EU who go beyond mere disappointment to an outright rejection of that process that began at Laeken (that’s in Belgium, by the way) and ended up, through many twists and turns that included a rejected EU Constitution, with the Lisbon Treaty. Most prominent in this regard are the Czechs, if only because Czech president Václav Klaus was the last obstacle to the ratification of that treaty, holding out until only one month ago. Klaus was finally forced to knuckle under, but Czech anti-Lisbon opinion will not let this day pass without at least one more loud cry of protest. Thus it is that we get this article in today’s on-line edition of the Czech daily Lidové noviny. (Those signs brandished in the photo up top read “We want a Europe of free nations” and “We don’t want EU vetoes/prohibitions”; and the Czech word “dost” that’s also there simply means “enough.”)
That this sort of piece should appear on lidovky.cz is no surprise, since that newspaper – otherwise quite a mainline Czech broadsheet worth recommending, by the way – has through the years consistently provided a platform for the writings of Václav Klaus, whether in or out of power. This time it’s not Klaus himself who wrote the article – he’s still president, after all, so that would truly be rather too awkward – but instead one Michal Petřík, an advisor to President Klaus. (more…)