Czech Republic: With or without Europe?

9 December 2011 – Presseurop Hospodářské Noviny

“The EU is dead, long live the new EU. But where are the Czechs?” wonders Hospodářké noviny in a comment piece on the European summit, which opened on 8 December. The message is clear: Germany has imposed what it wanted, Great Britain is ready to leave the union, and the Czech Republic and Sweden have reserved the right to consult their national parliaments before adhering to the 23-country treaty which will institutionalise budgetary discipline, points out the Prague daily.

In the light of current debate on the issue of European integration in the Czech Republic, columnist Martin Ehl points to the risk that a majority in the country may favour the eurosceptic position of President Václav Klaus. However, the interests of the country, which is economically reliant on Germany, will be best served by “being present, not rocking the boat, and remaining close to the source of information,” remarks Ehl.

“Sooner or later, the economic reality will convince Czech politicians to rethink their ‘euro-prudent’ attitude. There will no longer be any possibility of continuing as a stowaway, who takes advantage of whatever he or she wants: the Czech Republic will either have to face political and economic isolation like Hungary (...) or climb on board the train of Europe’s future prosperity.”

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