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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The progress of Lisbon treaty

Everyone thought the Lisbon treaty is doomed after the Irish NO, but member stated don't look too fond of abandoning it, so they continue the struggle to ratify it. I have said it many times, that it's really better to have an imperfect something that we can perfect, than a perfect nothing. So here you are the new developments of the issue:
  1. 'No' voters believe in Treaty renegotiation
  2. EU ministers: Treaty 'not dead', 'emergency plan' needed
  3. No EU expansion without Treaty, Sarkozy warns
  4. Sarkozy 'isolated' in tough stance on enlargement
  5. Netherlands ratifies EU's troubled Lisbon Treaty
  6. UK Court gives green light to Lisbon Treaty
  7. Polish President will not ratify Lisbon Treaty
My over-all comment is that this Treaty should and will be a fact, no matter if we like that or not. I say we should then take as much as we can out of this. I guess that's the position of Poland, Chezhia and Hungary, but still, there must be some limits in such black mailing. I mean, let's do it in a polite way. Just saying NO and showing how stubborn and Francophobic we are isn't exactly an attitude of matured humans, let alone of matured politics.

'No' voters believe in Treaty renegotiation

20 June 2008

A poll published on 20 June confirms that most Irish who voted 'no' in last week's referendum on the Lisbon Treaty wish to remain within the EU. But they have pinned their hopes on renegotiating the text – something EU leaders meeting in Brussels for a major summit have just excluded.

The vast majority of Ireland's 'no' voters (80%) want to remain in the EU, according to a new Eurobarometer surveyexternal published on 20 June. But most of them (76%) also think the result puts Ireland "in a strong position to renegotiate the treaty".

However, French President Nicolas Sarkozy dismissed any such expectations. Speaking to journalists after the EU Summit meeting in Brussels, he said the European Council had agreed to exclude "any renegotiation of the Treaty".

"We will not have a 'simplified Treaty II'," he stressed.

The Eurobarometer indeed highlights the major failings of Irish and EU politicians in communicating with citizens about the Treaty and the EU in general. A fifth of the 'no' voters and a sixth of the 'yes' voters admitted they had no idea whether the Lisbon Treaty would be good or bad for Ireland. Most Irish voters (68% of the total from both camps) also found that the 'no' campaign had been the most convincing.

What's more, while more than half of those who did not participate in the referendum admitted they did not vote because they "did not fully understand the issues raised by the referendum," a "lack of knowledge of the Treaty" also emerged as the number one reason (22%) for voting 'no' among those who did make it to the urns.

"Protection of Irish identity" (12%), "safeguarding neutrality", "lack of trust in politicians", "losing the right to a permanent commissioner" and "protecting the tax system" (all 6%) were also highlighted as key contributory factors to voting 'no'.

The survey also finds that young people, women and the unemployed were significant supporters of the 'no' vote, while many professionals, managers and retirees backed the 'yes' campaign. source

My comment: I won't even edit that article, because it's very significant. It just shows the level of ignorance among people. I mean, if you vote at least bother to read the document. And then we see young people celebrating on the NO. What are they celebrating for if they don't know what it is?! It's so absurd, it just shows the level of personal irresponsibility. I'm sure that in whatever country if you make such referendum, they'll say NO, just because it's the safe option.

EU ministers: Treaty 'not dead', 'emergency plan' needed

17 June 2008

The bloc's foreign ministers yesterday (16 June) discussed options to save the Lisbon Treaty despite its rejection in the Irish referendum last Friday, one being to offer Ireland certain assurances of its sovereignty and have it vote again next year.

Halting the ratification process must not be an option, foreign ministers vowed after the meeting, with the only borderline country being the Czech Republic, where the treaty is under review by the court (EurActiv 16/06/08).

According to Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, there were three scenarios which should be categorically avoided: a long period of reflection such as the one following the failure of the constitution, a renegotiation of the Lisbon Treaty, and the suspension of the ratification process.

Three options appear to be currently on the table.

  • Firstly, a small group of the more ambitious countries could move forward in the form of reinforced cooperation.
  • A second option would be to apply the treaty only to 26 countries, with a special statute for Ireland.
  • The last option would have Ireland vote again on a revised text after the ratification process is completed in all other member states. This revised text might grant the country certain opt-outs and assurances as was the case for Denmark, which said 'yes' to the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 after an initial referendum had failed. source

My comment: I think I already published that but I wasn't sure, so I just sketched the article.

No EU expansion without Treaty, Sarkozy warns

20 June 2008

French President Nicolas Sarkozy increased the pressure at a summit in Brussels on 19-20 June, saying further enlargement of the 27-member bloc would be halted if the Czech Republic and other eurosceptic governments failed to ratify the text rejected by Irish voters a week ago.

"Without the Lisbon Treaty, there will be no enlargement of Europe," the French President said, insisting that "there will be no other treaty" to replace the text agreed after drawn out negotiations one year ago.

The ratification process has been stalled in the Czech Republic, where the Constitutional Court is analysing the treaty at the request of the right-wing Civic Democratic Party (ODS) of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and eurosceptic President Vaclav Klaus. A decision is expected by September or October this year. But Sarkozy is attempting to raise the pressure on Topolanek, who supports further expansion of the EU to Croatia and the Western Balkans, by making it clear that France would veto any further EU enlargement if the treaty is not adopted.

Sarkozy’s tough line on enlargement is controversial among other EU countries, however.

There are currently three candidates for EU accession: Croatia, Turkey and Macedonia. Bosnia, Serbia, Albania and Montenegro also aspire to EU membership but have not yet become official candidates. source

My comment: I agree with Sarkozy on that, although he's a jerk. I mean, he's not right to put ultimatums but in the case of some countries, this is well needed. They just can't stop acting like spoiled children. That treaty simply should be ratified. It's another question why Sarkozy is so desperate about it.

Sarkozy 'isolated' in tough stance on enlargement

9 July 2008

Czech Deputy Premier Alexandr Vondra has rejected a warning from French President Nicolas Sarkozy that EU enlargement will have to be stopped unless the Lisbon Treaty is ratified as a "kind of a lie", adding to a growing chorus of criticism from European leaders on the issue.

Sarkozy's warning that enlargement would not continue unless the Lisbon Treaty enters into force continues to make waves, especially in the countries where the ratification of the new EU treaty is running into difficulties.

"It simply is not true. Enlargement can go ahead even without the treaty," Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra said. " It's not impossible. It's about political will," he added.

The Czechs "have this political will" and will pursue expansion to southern and south-eastern Europe as one of their main topics when they hold the six-month EU presidency from January, said Vondra, who is in charge of European affairs.

But pursuing enlargement is easier said than done. Diplomats have often admitted that it would not be difficult to reach agreement over the admission of Croatia, a candidate considered almost fit for accession and enjoying strong support among EU members. But for other prospective new members, the prevailing opinion is that the enlargement perspective should be kept until the countries are ready. Yet no other candidate is conisdered capable of being fit to join in the medium term. source

My comment: Well, Sakozy might lie and I'm sorry for Croatia which I like, but in the end, it's true that only one member state can vetoe a candidation so... And also that in case the Lisbon treaty goes to hell, the things will require dramatic negotiations and shifts. So why bother?

Netherlands ratifies EU's troubled Lisbon Treaty

9 July 2008

The Netherlands on Tuesday (8 July) became the 21st country to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, and the third to do so following the failed Irish referendum on 12 June.

Without surprises, a large majority of the Senate (60 to 15) voted in favour of the treaty, which replaced the EU Constitution rejected by Dutch voters in a referendum held in 2005.

Only the extreme-left party SP, the Christian party SPG and an animal rights party voted against the text.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso welcomed the ratification.

The number of countries who have not yet ratified the Lisbon Treaty is shrinking. The UK and Cyprus ratified the text after the failed Irish referendum and Spain also made a decisive step, the last stage of the ratification there being only a formality. Ratification remains problematic in the Czech Republic (EurActiv 01/07/08) and Poland (EurActiv 20/06/08) as well as in Germany, where President Horst Köhler announced he will not sign until the Constitutional Court rules over legal challenges filed against the text.

The Swedish coalition government said on 3 July that it has started the process of ratifying the Lisbon Treaty in Parliament. The Swedish assembly will vote on the treaty in the autumn. source

My comment: Yay! That is a good news, indeed! The more, the merrier :) And hopefully, that will be a sign for the not-signers to do so.

UK Court gives green light to Lisbon Treaty

26 June 2008

London's High Court yesterday (25 June) rejected a legal bid to force Britain to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, clearing the way for it to be ratified and dispelling fears that the UK could follow in Ireland's footsteps by rejecting the text in a public vote.

In their written judgment, judges Stephen Richards and Colin Mackay stated: "We are satisfied that the claim lacks substantive merit and should be dismissed."

The decision will come as a relief to EU leaders, who are seeking to ensure that ratification of the Lisbon Treaty proceeds smoothly even after the setback in Ireland on 12 June.

The Czech Republic, which takes over the rotating EU Presidency on 1 January 2009, is also awaiting a court decision on whether the EU Treaty complies with the Czech Constitution before it can proceed with ratification. The decision is expected in September or October, ahead of a major EU summit during which leaders are due to decide on the way forward following Ireland's 'no' vote. source

My comment: Nice! Another Yay!

Polish President will not ratify Lisbon Treaty

1 July 2008

As France today took over the EU helm for the next six months, the Polish President Lech Kaczyński called the Lisbon Treaty "pointless" following the Irish 'no' and announced that he will not sign it.

The Polish head of state, speaking to the daily Dziennik, made it plain that he will not sign the text "for the moment". Without the President's signature, Poland cannot complete the ratification process.

The views of the Polish President are in sharp contrast with the mainstream position of EU leaders, who said at the Brussels summit on 20 June that the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty should continue. This would put pressure on the Irish to vote a second time, as they did for the Nice Treaty in 2002. This is notably the intention of France, and the Polish President's announcement thus comes as a "poisoned chalice" to President Sarkozy on the very first day of the six-month French EU presidency.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is due to travel to Ireland on July 11 to hear the concerns of voters there at first hand, a day after he unveils the priorities of the French EU presidency in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. source

My comment: Gosh, I can't believe it's all about Poland vs. France. I mean, would they finally grow up? There are 21 signatures on that treaty. Why not make it 26 or 27 and forget about the whole hystery? I can't believe people feel respected when they do something totally irrational just for the sake of oposing France. Well, I'd like to opose France too, but on something that makes sense! Idiots!

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