Daily Archives: February 22, 2009

Gideon Rachman

Vaclav Klaus is a difficult man. Vain, boorish, a “climate-change denier”, a Eurosceptic. But I couldn’t help cheering when I read the FT’s account of his address to the European Parliament, whcih was given late last week.

The parliament is a horribly pompous and pampered body – and the Czech president really stuck it to them. He observed, correctly, that the parliament completely marginalises those who dissent from the politically-approved view of the necessity of ever-deeper European integration. And he criticised those “claiming that the status quo, the present institutional form of the EU, is forever uncriticisable dogma.”

Comparing this suffocating political orthodoxy to the Soviet era in which he grew up was perhaps a little over-the-top. But the parliamentarians rather made his point for him – by walking out in large numbers, when Klaus suggested that, since there is no European demos, the EU’s democratic deficit would not be solved by increasing the powers of the European Parliament. Heresy!!