This happened with Amsterdam, which was absolutely vital for enlargement. Then came Nice and the debâcle in Ireland. What happened? Assorted dignitaries from Eastern Europe, led by the ubiquitous Vaclav Havel, turned up in Dublin to tell the Irish that enlargement could not possibly go forward without the Treaty of Nice being ratified, though none of the important issues, such as CAP reform was even mentioned in that document.
Now we are running into difficulties over the Constitution, which is, once again, absolutely vital for enlargement (which has already happened to a great extent, give or take Romania and Bulgaria) and for the future of Europe as perceived by the highly emotional East European nomenclatura.
Tomorrow the Latvian President, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, will follow Chancellor Schröder and speak in Lille, calling on the people of France to vote for the constitution.
The President’s spokeswoman, Aiva Rozenberga told AFP:
“The Latvian president will address French society and the media in an emotional manner. She will use her splendid mastery of the French language to give an insight into the new EU member states' concerns about the future of the EU.”Whether the President of Latvia can really give an insight, splendid mastery of French or not, into other and bigger states’ concerns about the future of the EU seems a little doubtful. Especially, as she appears not to understand that many of those concerns are precisely with the Constitution and the direction the EU is moving in, quite inexorably, it seems.
Will they trot out the East Europeans for the next treaty as well?