Final Word from Wednesday, December 21, 2022

PM Petr Fiala spoke repeatedly about wanting an EU consensus on energy policy but then threatened last week to outvote Germany if it didn't agree to impose a cap on the price of natural gas. A cap was agreed on Sun. after Berlin came on board, and the final result was presented as a major victory, although three countries were ultimately outvoted (Austria and the Netherlands abstained, Hungary voted No). EU Affairs Min. Mikuláš Bek went into the Czech EU presidency with the stated goal of changing the EU voting system. He was prepared to give up the veto power of small countries in some key areas as a way to push through faster EU enlargement. No formal change was made in this respect, but the symbolism of a Czech EU presidency that was "extraordinarily successful at working out compromises" (in Bek's words) is significant. One of the countries that most valued the interests of the individual member states is now a leader in suppressing them for the greater good. [ Czech Republic European Union STAN ODS unanimity unanimous voting ]

Glossary of difficult words

interests of the individual member states - the Fiala government's policy statement says, "We will support an EU reform that prioritises the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality and secures the powers of the Member States so as not to increase the democratic deficit";

to suppress - to prevent the development, action, or expression of (a feeling, impulse, idea, etc.).

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