The fiasco of the EU summit brought to light the differences of attitude among the majority of the new member countries from Central and Eastern Europe and the “old” members. But the differences were not just as we expected. We did not see any of the new member countries being immature and eager for the community money but fit for the commitment and capable of sacrificing their own “national interests”. However, the big countries were incapable of reaching an agreement about the budget for the period 2007 2014, which could have a negative impact upon the Union. The leaders of the new member countries seem to worry more about that than the old member nations.
Therefore, most of the new members were willing to support the commitment proposed by Luxemburg which provided that the budget should amount to 1.06% of the global GNP of the EU and the annual “discount” of Great Britain to be frozen at 4.6 billion Euros. The Czech Republic and Slovakia had even agreed on a more radical plan which provided to top up the budget to just 1% of the GNP of the European Union.
Surprisingly the old and experienced European democracies had ignored the political risks bound to the possible renovation of a passionate nationalism in the European continent and the inexperienced new democracies of Eastern Europe had recommended caution. Maybe due to their recent accession, the new members know that in order to get their place in the Union they have to make efforts. They understand, therefore, that the European funds are less important than the plan to be part of a united Europe. The EU offers the small nations under attacked by both flanks by Germany and Russia a level of political stability and security that they ever had in the modern history. The States of Western Europe, however, feel that the political dimension of the European integration is a fact already established and they only think of its limits.
The disagreement about the budget does not mean that we are moving towards a catastrophe, but we should be careful. Obviously, we cannot eliminate totally the event of a weakening or disintegration of the common political structures of Europe. For the small countries from Eastern and Central Europe which are economically fragile, a Europe made up by nations that fight once again relentlessly to defend their own interests is a nightmare. But such nightmare could expand across all European nations. Maybe the Western countries should pay more attention to their new associates.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.
Korea Herald (South Korea)

Egoism poses threat to EU unity”, by Jiri Pehe, Korea Herald, June 21, 2005.
Les nouveaux et les vrais européens ”, Le Figaro, June 21, 2005.