The Jyllands-Posten row goes on and on, and the trade and security implications for the EU in general, and Denmark in particular, are getting more and more severe. Newspapers in most European countries – with the notable exception of Britain – have now published the cartoons in some kind of solidarity with the Danish newspaper. Yet the EU stands by and does nothing – see this from EUObserver. Franco Frattini criticised the publication of the cartoons before Christmas, and Ursula Plassnik, the Austrian Foreign Minister, has said that the Presidency is waiting to see what happens. Well, everyone is waiting for you Ms Plassnik! The EU, as a powerful trade bloc and major aid donor, surely has a lot of clout to put pressure on the countries that are banning Danish produce. Further, a statement of the common values that all European countries consider to be important would be very welcome. I wonder whether we are back in the same predicament as with the Eurofighter jets: all Europe’s politicians are probably caring about is the economic implications of all of this, rather than any ethical values.
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