Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

The New Silk Road for now remains just good intentions

Adelina Marini, May 8, 2009

Great expectations created the summit in Prague, dedicated to the Southern Corridor and for which in the Czech capital gathered the leaders of the EU, Central Asia, South Caucasus and Mashreq. In spite the elevated statements the declaration, signed at the end of thus summit - pretty short by the way - shows only that there will be a new silk road but some time in the future, but nobody knows when. The declaration is nothing but a merger of all existing documents from previous summits on the issue and in which the most frequent expressions are "political will, support, intentions" etc.

The only new thing is that the signatories engage themselves to draw up an Action Plan for the implementation of the main principles of the declaration. One of them, specifically is Turkey to give up the high transit taxes. The expectations are an agreement to be signed in June in Ankara.

Another interesting fact is which countries signed the declaration: quite expectedly the Czech prime minister Mirek Topolanek whose country presides the EU till the 1st of July, followed by the president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Baroso, the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, of Georgia - Mikhail Saakashvili, of Turkey - Abdullah Gul and the minister of oil of Egypt. But the signatures of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan are missing and they are key for the delivery of alternative energy for Europe and in the same time are quite influenced by Russia which also transits their gas. The signature of Ukraine is also missing and the president Viktor Ushchenko was in Prague.