The speech

Where did last week disappear? Time was really flying.

The dominating theme during the days that have passed was definitely the speech on the future of Europe held in Berlin by Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. It clearly deserved all possible attention and analysis. Thus it became the focus area of my week.

You find the link here and it’s a good idea to use it and read the speech:

Why? Because it is a key contribution from Poland to the extremely important ongoing debate on how to deal with the present crisis in a way that makes us come out on the other side in a strengthened European community.

And it’s outspoken. Like in one of the most quoted parts: “I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity.”

The speech is debated and will be even more debated. Healthy for the vitality of the EU. I just hope one line of argument in the previous debate could be coming to a close after this contribution: the argument from others blaming the crisis partly on enlargement.

In the speech Minister Sikorski gives a figure: The total volume of trade between EU15 and EU10 amounted to 222 bln Euro last year, up from 51 bln Euro in 1995. That increase has been of benefit to us all, not only to the new members but all Europe. Additionally enlargement has been a driving force for reforms in countries developing out of dictatorship, planned economy – and even war as in the case of Croatia that this Friday – under the Polish EU Presidency – will sign its accession treaty with EU as member 28. And more should follow.

The meeting with the European Council the same day will certainly need to avoid the risk of being an opportunity lost in the struggle to manage the crisis.

Poland has added its voice to the debate – and many have been listening.

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