Saturday, June 04, 2005

Words of Wisdom from Zagreb

Ured predsjednika RH - ENGLISH´┐Ż

Zagreb in Croatia has been the scene of a high-level meeting discussing Southeastern Europe and European integration during the last two days.

It was a meeting dominated by concerns over where Europe is heading after the debacles in France and the Netherlands. There are very genuine worries in the region that they will just be dumped and neglected and the consequences this would have.

The President of Croatia Stjepan Mesic warned explicitly of the dangers and challenges ahead.

He wanted, that "there are unfortunately those who think that we can and even should revive certain ghosts and myths of the past. This is simply a delusion, however a delusion which - if translates into politics - could have fatal consequences."

"It is possible for us to go back to the collective hated and fear that ruled this area for centuries. It is possible for us to go back to the priviligies and selective application of laws, which is a realm for new divisions, discrimination and isolation."

"The European Union, this is how I see it, is tired of enlargement, while we, countries in transition, are tired of transition. This, however, should not become a new line of division on the continent... The process of European integration should be brought to a conclusion, without too much hesitation."

Wise words from a wise man.

These days one has to go to Zagreb, Kiev or Riga to see and feel the tremendous importance of the European Union and its integration.

Brussels has descended into itself. Member countries are in sudden political disarray.

And the tabloids and much of the rest of the media are discussing the wages of members of the European Parliament went issues of war and peace, freedom or semi-authoritarianism, are still on the table in important parts of Europe.