16 September 2006

EUobserver.com - EU and the US practice of rendition

Dear readers,

Sorry for this long silence, due to hard work, mainly... I had a bitter smile today when reading this article from the EUobserver.com. Again, no summary, just the facts. The EU foreign ministers where (again) unable to say collectively that the US practice of "rendition", secret prisons and prisoner tortures are against the law. First, I don't understand what is so difficult about saying this. They all said it in their own country (but that doesn't count). But saying it officially at EU level would have been, somewhat, stronger. This is of course a very good thing, in a way. It means that the EU is indeed beginning, subconsciously, to become bigger than the sum of all its parts. It is also a bad thing, because it shows that member states governments are still afraid of the EU, as a counter power to their petty local powers. Politicians will never change, I guess, and cowardice is a caracteristic of the job.

The second thing in this article which made me smile was the "Parthian arrow" of the Finnish presidency. Custom is that no one admits who blocked the common decision. But the Finnish Foreign Minister, when he read the press line which was agreed, simply named the two countries which had vetoed any decision. Everyone was expecting Poland... Guess, everyone was wrong. The UK and the Czeck Republic were the only two countries blocking until the last moment. Of course, it would be very unwise for me, even reckless, to conclude that these two countries (well known allies of the US, even for the worse) were the actual guilty ones. Or would it ?

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