Final Word from Thursday, April 17, 2003

The CR and nine other countries signed European Union accession treaties yesterday. Some of them, including the CR, had put their names in Feb. to the pro-U.S. "gang of eight" or "Vilnius 10" letters on Iraq. An unnamed Czech diplomat told the Financial Times that France indicated to him that the act would always hang over the CR in future relations. Sources tell us that within the EU context, this could perhaps mean that the new pro-American members get positions in Brussels that carry little weight, or that they don't get full representation on the EU Commission. The issue of who gets how many commissioners is to be decided by the new Constitution, which is now being drawn up. Things might turn out better for the CR than for, say, Poland. The CR seems to have redeemed itself in France's eyes somewhat in recent weeks with its wishy-washy stance on Iraq.


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