The resignation of the government of the Czech Republic has shocked the whole European Union because the nation currently presides over the organization. Nevertheless, the political changes in the chairing state are not going to be a disaster for the European Union. When Denmark was a chairing EU state in 1993, Social Democrat Paul Rasmussen replaced Conservative Prime Minister Paul Schluter and became the EU chairman. The political change did not have any influence on the work of the European Union. Another incident took place in 1996 in Italy, during the country’s EU chairmanship too, and had no consequences either.
The European Commission and the European Parliament were aware of the probability for the Czech government to step down. Nevertheless, they risked to let the country take the chairing position. The Czech chairmanship expires in three months, but there are definitely no chances for the country to elect the new government during this period.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus could replace Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek as the head of the EU Council. Klaus has a successful experience of running radical reforms, when the Czech Republic made a step from socialism to capitalism during the 1990s. However, Klaus is the only EU leader, who refuses to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, which is supposed to replace the Constitution of the European Union. Klaus says that the Treaty infringes upon the sovereignty of the Czech Republic. The leaders of other European countries preferred not to entrust the EU chairmanship to such a skeptic politician. It just so happens that the EU has been left without the leader during the time of the world crisis.
Pravda.ru interviewed Alexander Rahr, a German scientist of politics, about the events taking place inside the European Union.
“Will the current power crisis in the Czech Republic affect the relations inside the EU?”
“It will, in the worst manner possible. The EU can lose the leader at a very bad moment. As it is known, the Czech Republic is supposed to chair the EU until the middle of the current year. The European Union has found itself in a very complicated situation. I mean the world financial crisis, which will probably be the most serious test that the EU has to take in its entire history.
“As a matter of fact, Europe’s entire political system is tumbling down. Demonstrations and actions of protest take place in very other country of the Union. No one knows how the situation is going to unfold in the future. The situation with the Czech Republic is quite complicated indeed. A lot of time will be lost before a new person comes to power there.”
“How will these events affect the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty?”
“The state of affairs with the Lisbon Treaty is rather difficult too. It is not about the Czech Republic alone. Ireland will have to vote for the treaty again; Poland has not ratified the document either. It is not known what is going to happen to the treaty next, especially if financial institutes fail to handle the economic situation well.”
“Who is going to chair the EU during the upcoming three months?”
“For the time being, Topolanek will continue to chair the organization despite his resignation.”
“The Czech Republic has virtually failed its chairmanship at the EU. Would you say that the expansion of the European Union with the help of the former socialist states was hasteful?”
“This thought occurs to those who granted the EU membership to Poland and the Czech Republic. They do not say it out loud not to add more fuel to the fire. Maybe it was a premature decision to make, but what was Europe left to do? They would have been accepted sooner or later anyway, taking into consideration Russia’s growing influence and the concerns of the West.