Monday, June 12, 2006

Choices of Importance for Europe

Back on the European continent - and in a Stockholm where the weather is bordering on the tropical these days.

In Luxembourg the Foreign Ministers of the European Union are meeting to sort out issues in advance of the meeting of the European Council in Brussels at the end of the week.

Some are trying to do whatever they can to put brakes on the further process of enlargement of the Union.

The Greek Cypriots are trying to bloc the opening of negotiations on the first chapter with Turkey, and they have the tacit support of some others. And several countries are - under the heading of "absorption capacity" - trying to redefine the criteria for admitting new members in a more restrictive direction.

It's a highly dangereous exercise - it is Europe playing away its soft powers of transformation. It's playing with the future stability of important parts of our continent.

I can only hope that there will be other governments taking a firm stand.

I'm heading for a hectic week as well. Soon off to speak at the annual meeting of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce on the global challenges, but then off to Berlin for a dinner.

Then back to Stockholm for the Nordic Venture Network discussing the high-tech scene on the Top of Europe. But then the off to Brussels for most of the rest of the week. It's the board of the European Policy Center, among other things.

But it will be right in the middle of the turmoil of the European Council.

But the week will of course also see the important election in Slovakia on the 17th.

An important week for Europe.