I already noted somewhat obliquely (admittedly in a very tangential manner: it’s the link down at the bottom of that post to the Poland in the EU weblog, under “UPDATE”) that the Czech EU presidency just organized and hosted in Prague a so-called Eastern Partnership summit – intended to improve EU relations with various ex-Soviet nations still under the shadow of the Russian Bear, including Ukraine and Belarus – and hardly anyone from the EU side showed up! As a “summit” it was supposed to be attended by all member-state heads of government. But I guess the EU is not yet that sort of organization where they send burly men to fetch dignitaries physically when their absence at an official event is noticed (nor is it likely ever to be), for only one head of government was there: Angela Merkel. (And of course a head of state – namely Václav Klaus, but note the distinction – acted as host; more on that below.) No Gordon Brown; no José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero; apparently no Donald Tusk, either, even though this Eastern Partnership is something originally proposed by Poland. No Austrian Chancellor, either (his name is Werner Faymann, BTW), and indeed nobody higher there for Austria than her EU ambassador, despite that country’s multiple interests (indeed, you could say its very location) in the East.
And no Nicolas Sarkozy. What vital functions did he have on his official schedule yesterday, when that Prague “summit” was wound up and the Eastern Partnership agreement signed without his participation? (more…)