Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New "EU" Year!

Prague - Today the presidency of the European Union passed from France to the Czech Republic, and for its duration of the next six months it will be the focus of this blog, which will be covering the politics, special events, and international reaction.

Here is the official web site: www.eu2009.cz

The Czech Republic's presidency of the EU may be interesting for some of the following reasons. First, Czech President Vaclav Klaus is openly skeptical of the EU, likening it to the Soviet Union of the old communist days. Second, the Czech Republic is one of three European countries (most notable being Ireland for its outright rejection) that have yet to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. Third, the Czech Republic will be the first former Soviet satellite state to hold the EU presidency. Additionally, the Czech Republic's minority government, lead by the ODS party's Mirek Topolanek as Prime Minister, is fairly weak and unstable.

Immediate challenges facing the new presidency include facilitating a European reaction to the crisis in the Gaza Strip, and developing policy to offset the looming long-term effects of the current global economic crisis.

Happy New "EU" Year!

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1 comment:

Carmen Villadar said...

I really appreciate you posting this on the 1st day of 2009. Having just moved to Europe in 2007 and getting my brain faculties acclimated to a whole new culture, language etc .. it's always been my goal to be more informed about the goings on of the EU. I'm following your take and looking forward to learning. Cheers!

Carmen
@digitalfemme

 
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