PositionCivic Democratic Party - European People's Party - European Democrats - European Union - Interview

What are your expectations for the Czech EU Presidency?a

It's a challenge, particularly because the new European Parliament will be elected a month before the end of our Presidency, so the campaign will be a big event during our mandate. We are expecting performances by certain MEPs, who want to draw attention to themselves. But the only way to be more visible is to attack the Council, that is the Presidency. I'm sure that the European Socialists will not hesitate to adopt a very clear tone, especially if the Czech Republic does not ratify the Treaty of Lisbon. Apart from that, we will have to deal with the real problem of the EU's response to the financial and economic crisis. One of our priorities will also be the question of energy security and reducing the EU's dependence. Lastly, at external level, we will defend enlargement, including to the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Turkey and Croatia, of course. And our Presidency will also see the first EU-United States summit with the new American administration.

So there are a lot of interesting subjects ahead, but we are ready. The capacity to organise a Presidency, from the technical and logistical point of view, has nothing to do with a country's Eurosceptic or Europhile nature. What is clear is that the Lisbon Treaty will not be endorsed under our Presidency because no one knows when the Irish referendum, if there is one, will be held. In any case, the European elections will take place on the basis of the Treaty of Nice, so it would be preferable to set aside the question of the Lisbon Treaty.

Will it be hard to negotiate with Ireland if you have not ratified the treaty?

On the contrary, it could be an advantage. We will be able to show more understanding towards the country, because we, too, have our own reservations on the text. Our president is very opposed to it. The government, and my party in particular, do not want to block it, but that does not mean they are satisfied with it. Personally, I am not a supporter of the treaty. I find that it is taking the EU in the wrong direction and will create more problems than it solves. We can stay temporarily with Nice, which would not be a disaster. But in the future, the EU will have to opt for a different model.

But the Lisbon Treaty gives the European Parliament more power

To be honest, that is exactly why I became a member of Parliament, because I don't think that giving the EP more power is a good idea. Its legitimacy declines with every...

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