Scholz and STAN

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said yesterday at Charles Univ. in Prague that to enlarge the EU to include the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and eventually Georgia, we need to be ready, and we need to start preparing now. The EU Council needs to be able to act quickly and pragmatically, he said, and with every additional member the risk increases that one country will use its veto to block the will of everyone else. His solution is to require only a qualified majority for votes on foreign policy and other key issues. EU Affairs Min. Mikuláš Bek (STAN) presented the same argument in LN in mid-June and said that he’s convinced that a compromise in terms of decision-making will be needed if the CR wants to achieve any progress on enlargement. Yet PM Petr Fiala said yesterday that the CR’s position on changing the voting framework is “very reserved.” How to interpret this? STAN, with all its problems, isn’t going to be the partner Scholz needs for getting ODS on board this time.

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