Gotta love Václav Klaus!
(PRAGUE) – Euroscpetic Czech President Vaclav Klaus has flatly rejected a proposal by the European Commission chief for the 27-nation European Union to evolve into a “federation of nation states.”
“I firmly reject the idea presented by Jose Barroso,” Klaus told the Thursday edition of the Czech daily Pravo.
“The only thing I appreciate in his proposal is that the current advocates of deeper European integration have for the first time openly admitted their real objectives,” he added.
If it is to overcome its economic and political crisis, the European Union must evolve into a “federation of nation states”, Barroso said Wednesday in his annual ‘state of the union’ address.
Klaus has long been known for his suspicion of the European project and staunch opposition to further structural economic and political integration among the EU’s 27 members.
“In 2004, we joined the European Union, not a federation in which we’ll become an insignificant province,” Klaus said, adding his country would “certainly not” join a federation like the one raised by Barroso.
Citing this goal — a sort of ‘United States of Europe’ — as the EU’s “political horizon,” Barroso said Wednesday there was a need for a “sharing of sovereignty in a way that each country and each citizen is better able to control their destiny”.
He said this federation was required “because I think in these times of anxiety, it is a mistake to leave nations to nationalism and populism”.
He added that creating this federation will “ultimately require a new treaty” to be agreed by EU partners.
An ex-communist state of 10.2 million which joined the EU in 2004, the Czech Republic has not yet entered the debt-ravaged eurozone, with leaders in Prague insisting the European single currency union must first solve its problems.