|Author (Person)||Cronin, David, Shelley, John|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.26, 28.6.01, p4|
IRISH 'No' campaigners who argued that the Nice Treaty presented a raw deal for ex-communist states seeking EU membership have been criticised by the chief Czech negotiator in the enlargement talks.
State secretary for European affairs Pavel Telicka told European Voice: "We appreciate that the Irish 'No' side has concerns about what will happen to us after accession, but we can take care of ourselves."
One argument put forward by the No campaign was that, unlike when Ireland joined the European Community in 1973, applicant states would not enter the Union on terms equal to existing members when Nice comes into effect.
For instance, small EU countries will no longer have the automatic right to appoint a commissioner.
However, Telicka differed with Commission President Romano Prodi's suggestion that the Nice Treaty was legally unnecessary for accepting new entrants: the Czech view was that ratification would "very much facilitate enlargement".
He also referred to a visit to Prague earlier this month by enlargement commissioner Gunter Verheugen, who allegedly informed Prime Minister Milos Zeman that the country's EU membership bid would be jeopardised if his right-wing rival Vaclav Klaus won the 2002 general election.
Although Verheugen has declined to confirm making those remarks, Telicka accepts he probably did. "It's true that Vaclav Klaus is less integrationist-minded than many Czech politicians. But every political party in our country is in favour of EU accession. That's the reality."
Irish 'No' campaigners who argued that the Nice Treaty presented a raw deal for ex-communist states seeking EU membership have been criticised by the chief Czech negotiator in the enlargement talks.
|Countries / Regions||Czechia|