March 16, 2008

THERE IS NO EUROPE:

Czechs at centre-stage as EU troublemaker, US ally (DPA, 3/15/08)

By securing a separate US visa deal in Washington, the eurosceptic Czech government showed the 27-member EU's fragile unity and undermined the bloc's efforts to negotiate common travel rules with Washington.

In effect, the Czechs gave up on Brussels after repeatedly asking the European Commission, the EU executive, to lobby the US to abolish visa requirements for US-friendly EU newcomers in the former Soviet bloc.

"The Czechs have have become a US guinea pig in Europe that indicates how far it is possible to go," said political scientist Jiri Pehe, who heads New York University's branch in Prague.

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek signed the visa deal in Washingon last month, pledging in return to help US efforts to track airline passengers. Estonia and Latvia followed Wednesday with US visa deals of their own.

EU officials in Brussels were infuriated.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 16, 2008 10:55 AM
Comments

EU officials in Brussels were infuriated.

Oh, and I'm sure that Belgium, France, Germany, and other EU countries abrogated their separate visa waiver agreements with the US, not wanting to undermine the EU's negotiations for common travel rules, right? Right?

Posted by: John Thacker at March 16, 2008 11:22 AM
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