Thursday, March 03, 2005

Poles apart

All is not sweetness and light in the couloirs of Brussels where, it seems, Polish officials are getting the bum's rush when it comes to their share of the top jobs.

So dire has become the situation that Poland's prime minister, Marek Belka, has been moved to write a personal letter to EU commission president, José Manuel Barroso, complaining of "discrimination".

Although the d-word does not actually appear in the letter, this is clearly the thrust of the complaint, with Belka pointing out "in a calm though decisive tone" that many old EU member states do not seem to have noticed that the EU has enlarged and that new members, including one as large as Poland, deserve appropriate representation in the Union's administrative bodies.

Belka is not alone in his complaint as his foreign minister Daniel Rotfeld has also been talking to the German daily Der Spiegel. In a recent interview, he suggested that Poles "might be being passed over for decisive positions in the directorate general for international relations."

In Rotfeld's view, Poland is being punished for presenting its own point of view too often, which differs from those of the EU's largest members. Can't have that, can we? Who do those Poles think they are?