In early May, CzechRepublic’s parliament voted to back theTreaty of Lisbon. But not so fast. Czech President Vaclav Klaus, an enduring Euroskeptic and EU’spro tempore president, refused to endorse the decision. It’s not for us to enter a sovereign debate. Europe’s nations must make their own decisions as part of their new legitimacy and the EU’s embrace of the rule of law –– all the more so since the community enlarged. But something else bears saying. As Europeans, are we not entitled to respond to something like this with indignation, if not revulsion?
Isn’t it, after all, a ridiculous and humiliating situation? Are we really in a positing to continue enduring the whims of such countries and Holland and Ireland, and now the Czech Republic, that reap EU benefits to then step back whenever they’re compelled tomake a national sacrifice and issue a binding commitment? EU leaders in Brussels and other European capitals have already issued politically correct answers (as always sensible and prudent). They preach patience. But taking into account the sentiments expressed in the recent European Parliament elections results, may we suggest a more visceral response, one that says it’s high time to dispense with the arcane protocols and procedures that mortify the very idea of a united Europe, removing it from its flesh and blood citizenry. Euroskepticism, whose motivations are hardly noble, ignores the fact that each day hundreds of thousands of youths move freely through Europe; that countless companies exchange goods and services; that millions of consumers purchase products no matter what their country of origin; and that intellectuals continue to work tirelessly in an effort to foster and nourish a European cultural identity. European leaders must find urgent, concrete means to remedy what amounts to Kafkaesque mockery (mentioning Kafka seems appropriate). The current situation allows nominal Europeans not only to participate in what they scoff at, but also to represent it.