Wednesday 25 March 2009

The Czech EU-Council Presidency (14): Collapse!!!!

The Czech government yesterday lost a vote of no confidence by 101 of 200 votes. This means, more or less, that the EU presidency collapses.

What a mess: In times of crisis, a new EU member state loses its government and the EU its de lege leadership, although de facto I didn't see much in the last months.

EUobserver tells that this is not the first time an EU Council Presidency government falls during its term:
"This is not the first time that a country in charge of the rotating EU presidency has a change of government during its mandate. In 1996, Italy faced a similar situation when a centre-left coalition headed by Romano Prodi won parliamentary elections, ousting the centre-right government led by Lamerto Dini.

In 1993, Denmark also faced a change of government while it was chairing the EU, with the government led by Poul Schluter falling and Social Democrat Poul Nyrup Rasmussen coming to power.
But I this is maybe the worst timing one could imagine, in a time when efficient leadership is needed, and the European Parliament elections are coming closer every day.

I don't have doubt in the capacities of the Czech diplomats and administrators on all levels, they will be able to keep up the working rhythm which dominates most activities during a presidency, but if they lack clear guidance and leadership, then important decisions might be delayed, cancelled or at least weakened.

In addition, this will give more power to the already too powerful EU Council secretariat, which will use the opportunity of a weak presidency to push through its own agenda.

All in all, an extremely bad day for the European Union!

Read also on this topic: Jon Worth, Coulisses de Bruxelles, EurActiv, Dr. Sean, European Union Law, Toni Straka.


Anonymous said...

Hello Julien. My knowledge of the EU and its workings is rather limited so I'm hoping you can answer a question for me. If the Lisbon Treaty had been in operation would this be such a mess?