Friday, January 28, 2005

One Hooray For Poland

All the nationalist hoopla, the soldiering on in the Coalition of the Duped, Bribed & Blackmailed, and the "now we're in" attitude that stopped further reforms once joining the EU, and the list of idiots and incompetents nominated for the European Commission[*] made me rather cynical about the all-European value of having us Central-Europeans (or more precisely, our governments) in the EU. I mean, I didn't mean we'll wreck it - for example, back before I started this blog, in 2003, I was among the few who was certain the Polish-Spanish governments' refusal to give up some privileges won't kill the EU Constitution, and was not at all surprised at the complete turnaround six months later (why I thought so, look at the cartoon here). But I had the feeling our governments will only play blockers of progress and cheaters, and not defend the erosion of good things.

Last month, no less than the Polish government gave me a positive surprise, when the Polish delegate in the Agriculture and Fisheries section of the European Council[+] prevented the rubberstamping of an off-topic draft proposal, one that would have introduced software patents. Last week, there was another attempt with the same sneaked-in coreography, and the Polish delegate again vetoed it. (Read more details at Cabalamat Journal.)

If you feel like, you can sign (and add a comment - I didn't refrain from a sting in direction of Polish Iraq policy) a thank Poland letter here. (Even better, spread the link!)

EU mini-dictionary for the uninitiated:

  • [*] European Commission: the semi-government, the "EU bureaucrats", they make some proposals and execute what the Council decides; chosen by the Council
  • [+] European Council: the real holders of power (British right-wing and Swedish left-wing Eurosceptics would do well to redirect all their ire here, but won't), they make the final decisions, choose the Commission and influence their proposals, while making their own proposals, composed of the members of national governments, headed rotationally by another government every six months
  • European Parliament: the semi-parliament, the only democratically elected body, has a mostly consultatory role, amends Commission proposals and approves the Council's pick for Commission, the European Constitution would somewhat extend its powers
  • European Convention: it was a temporary body, composed of delegates from national parliaments, governments and the EU bodies, which composed the initial draft of the Constitution in 2003, whose final form was of course approved by the Council in 2004


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