President: The EU should not become a “superstate”
During the press conference, Václav Klaus, the Czech President, said that neither he nor the Polish President disregarded the changes resulting from the Lisbon Treaty becoming effective. “I think that our countries have to learn how to function within this new legal framework and, in particular, we have to contribute a lot of effort to prevent the treaty from becoming merely a means for the further radical unification and centralization of Europe," the Czech President remarked.
“There are two ways in which the Lisbon Treaty may influence Europe – it may lead the Union to become either a strong association of states or a kind of “superstate”. The latter situation is what President Klaus describes as unification and centralization,” Lech Kaczyński said.
He added that they both would like the European Union to be an association of states rather than a superstate, but not out of contrariness. “Our standpoint is the result of a calm analysis of the situation in Europe, where each nation has its own vision of the world, public opinion, and specificity. These are sometimes strikingly different from state to state, and it is essential that these differences not be lost," he said.
Lech Kaczyński also remarked that during their private talks both he and the Czech President insisted that the states of the EU have to cooperate in order to implement the Lisbon Treaty fully.
Journalists asked the two presidents about Georgia striving to join the EU and NATO, and about the support of Poland and the Czech Republic in these efforts.
Klaus emphasized the fact that although Poland and the Czech Republic are already member states of the European Union this does not mean that the Community should not continue to expand in order to include more states. “In general, we support new states as far as their joining the EU is concerned and we are against 'closing' the Union," Klaus said.
Lech Kaczyński remarked that he was very much in favour of Georgia joining NATO first. “NATO, in spite of all its flaws and weaknesses, guarantees, and sometimes even spreads, stabilization,” he said and then added, referring to the membership of new states in the EU, that he believed "the door should not be closed."
The Order of the White Lion for Lech Kaczyński
Earlier that day, the Czech President awarded Lech Kaczyński with the highest distinction of the Czech Republic – the Order of the White Lion. During the award ceremony, Klaus said that he considered the Polish President a very prominent persona in both Poland and Europe at large, and a friend of the Czech Republic who has contributed to the development of good relations between Poland and the Czech Republic. He added that he respected the boldness with which the Polish President approaches politics.
While thanking for the Order, Lech Kaczyński remarked that the Czech Republic is a country which should play an important role in the Europe of today. “However, in the Europe of today, countries which happen not to be France or Germany, can play an important role only if they cooperate with other such states," he said.
He added that he considered the order not only a distinction for the head of state but also something personal.
(PAP, own information)