Sidelined in Berlin

Gerhard Schröder, Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair (picture European Commission)

By Richard Laming

Published in EUobserver, 18 February 2004

When Gerhard Schröder, Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair gather in Berlin today for their trilateral summit, everyone will be remarking on how well they have patched up their differences since the war in Iraq. This is certainly a good thing. But the summit could also be the beginning of a new and unwelcome feature of European politics.

The danger is that the important decisions will be taken away from the EU institutions and returned to the world of secret diplomacy.

It is fine that different groups of member states should gather together to prepare their positions for future debates in the EU – it is a sign of normal politics that they do so – but they should not act in a divisive manner when they do. The reaction of some of the other member states shows that this is exactly what is happening.

Read the whole article at 040218euobserver

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Read a similar article published in The Prague Post on 26 February 2004 at 040226praguepost

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