Saturday 24 February 2018

Tomas Kafka : Gift of the gab may help us rekindle EU romance

Tomas Kafka

THE year 2013 is widely acknowledged to be a very important one for the future of the European Union. This suggestion could, however, be understood to be both a reason for hope as well as a threat to the union.

The process of European integration seems currently to be less about facts and more about the state of mind of Europeans. The importance of being either optimistic or pessimistic cannot be overestimated, and this choice will determine the mood in which we greet the upcoming Irish EU presidency. The Irish presidency has been reputed to be one of the best – at least in the last 20 years.

Speaking about the reputation of the Irish presidency should not to be mistaken for pandering – Ireland's popularity within the EU does not need propaganda. The potential of the Irish presidency in 2013 is based upon facts. In 1990 the Irish presidency developed an approach to German reunification; in 1996 it vitally helped to facilitate the Amsterdam Treaty, giving more rights to EU citizens; in 2004 it finalised the enlargement of the EU family by opening the gate for 10 new Eastern European countries.

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