Final Word from Wednesday, February 19, 2003

The CR and other candidate countries adopted the EU's position on Iraq yesterday. Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda initially criticized the EU for not inviting the candidates to help formulate the position, but yesterday on Czech Radio he changed the thrust of his argument and said that EU "procedure" didn't allow for this. That's why it's important for the CR to join the EU, he added, so it can shape things from the inside. One of our readers said there are two main lessons from the events this week. First, we've seen the risks inherent in challenging EU policy as set by Paris and Berlin. And second, we've been reminded that Svoboda is much like the late Josef Lux, KDU-ČSL's former chairman, who twisted things to fit his own current demands. What the CR needs, the reader said, is a foreign minister who is guided by Czech national interests and not personal ones.


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