- The Washington Times - Friday, June 24, 2005

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Yomiuri Shimbun

The EU summit

TOKYO — The summit meeting of European Union leaders was held under difficult circumstances after French and Dutch voters rejected the proposed EU constitution. However, the summit talks did not overcome the imminent political crisis, but rather further exposed an internal rift among members of the enlarged 25-nation bloc.

The EU has been able to maintain a strong influence over the international community because it has steadily enlarged its membership and enhanced political and economic integration among member states.

If it fails to fix the internal disunity that surfaced at the summit meeting, EU influence in international politics will certainly decline.

Britain will inherit the EU presidency for six months from July. If the new EU president fails to find solutions to unresolved but important issues, including the budget, the EU can expect long-term stagnation.

La Repubblica

The U.S. and the EU

ROME — The two European members who were against the war in Iraq — Germany and France — call for a “European counterbalance” to the United States. Nevertheless, the White House … knows that there is nothing to gain from a divided Europe. It recognizes its own loss in a European Union whose geopolitics are paralyzed, or focused exclusively on domestic problems. It knows that there are many areas in which an alliance with a strong Europe is beneficial for U.S. relations abroad. The stability of the southern and oriental regions, Turkish, Balkan and post-Soviet areas, for example, needs European support. Likewise … to fight against further proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as to set up an exit strategy in Iraq … the European Union is vital for the United States.

Dagens Nyheter

Fighting terrorism

STOCKHOLM — U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s speech at the Cairo university is a milestone in the fight against terrorism. She rejected state of emergency, arbitrary administration of justice and violence against peaceful demonstrators. She criticized the … Egyptian government more strongly than any other U.S. minister has during the 30 years that the countries have cooperated, regarding human rights. This is an invaluable signal, as the political opposition wins the election in Lebanon, and as the leaders of Israel and Palestine meet to solve common problems. Every small step forward in the Middle East is a giant leap for humanity — not least when it comes to security.

Financial Times

Lengthy fraud trials

LONDON — For more than a decade, Britain’s law officers have argued that juries are incapable of trying lengthy fraud cases. Yesterday, Lord [Peter Henry] Goldsmith, attorney general, unveiled another attempt to persuade Parliament to end trial by jury in such cases, on the grounds of cost and complexity. Since U.S. juries have found no difficulty in trying those blamed for recent corporate scandals, the case is far from proved.

With no hint of irony, the attorney general’s press release announcing Lord Goldsmith’s decision was headed “Government limits risk to justice.” The risks the government sees are twofold: That fraudsters escape justice, and that their defense lawyers milk the legal-aid budget. But the risk of miscarriages of justice and the risk that this would be the thin end of the wedge for trial by jury must also be weighed.

To support the case for change, the attorney general listed four recent trials — all of which ended in convictions or findings of guilt — and a 1991-92 trial where the convictions were overturned on appeal. This is hardly an overwhelming argument that juries are unable to understand complex frauds. Nor do the figures quoted for the cost of those trials seem unduly high. Given the verdicts, it was money well spent.

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