Central Europe prime ministers hail historic Nice Treaty


Europe is still digesting the results of the historic EU summit in Nice, and nowhere more so than in the candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The prime ministers of four of those countries--the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia--met in the Slovak capital Bratislava on Monday, to celebrate the end of a marathon 5-day summit. They seemed unconcerned that the Treaty of Nice does little more than preserve the great-power status of the Union's biggest countries, largely at the expense of the smallest. The Central European candidates are happy, for a simple reason: the EU reached an agreement on crucial reform, and enlargement is now, in theory, just a matter of time. The prime ministers of host country Slovakia, Mikulas Dzurinda, as well as his Hungarian and Czech colleagues, Viktor Orban and Milos Zeman respectively, was in buoyant mood: