EurActiv - Letters to the Editor


Regarding ‘Czech premier in Lisbon Treaty blunder‘:

The fuss about Czech PMs partly failed attempt to make a joke is…a bit of a joke.

OK, so PM Topolanek went “off-message” on 14 January by not delivering the expected watertight support for the party line, which is of course (!) that all leading EU politicians should work like robots towards the adoption of a new and better treaty for the EU, taking us all happily to the next level.

Well, great, but the impression, created by MEPs Duff and De Rosas, of an EU not able to take a joke, is not exactly helpful to ensure the much sought-after love and backing of European citizens.

Consider the fact that an endless number of rock-solid speeches from talking head politicians about the absolute necessity of voting in favour of the Constitutional Treaty somehow didn’t convince the French and the Dutch people to do the right thing in the spring of 2005, when the referenda threw the EU into its last “unprecedented” crisis.

Next time there is a cocky fellow in the room trying to crack unhelpful jokes, consider the adult option: Laugh along quietly or ignore it, and move quickly on to the next item. Shouting hysterically and conjuring up images of near-sacrilege won’t help the EU grow up – or grow for that matter – in anyone’s esteem.

PM Topalenek’s ability to make the rest of us appreciate and laugh at Czech sayings may still be in need of some honing. But in the meantime, let’s all ponder the question: Whatever happened to ‘United in diversity’?

Jacob Langvad,

Communications consultant,


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