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Monday, February 23, 2009

Future of the EU , 02, 2009

  1. Obama's missile stance blocks Czech Lisbon ratification
  2. Support in Ireland growing for Lisbon Treaty
  3. EU to play Iceland card to prop up Lisbon Treaty
  4. Czechs delay Lisbon vote again, despite popular support

Obama's missile stance blocks Czech Lisbon ratification

30 January 2009

US President Barack Obama's decision to step back from the previous administration's plan to develop an anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe is blocking ratification of the Lisbon Treaty by the Czech parliament, Czech analysts told EurActiv.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said yesterday (29 January) that he expected the United States to consider delaying the Central European missile shield project, a day after Russia had reacted positively to a perceived shift in US policy (EurActiv 29/01/09).

"There appears to have been a deal between the main [ruling] coalition party and the main opposition party that if the missile agreement is approved, the Lisbon Treaty will be as well. Since the Lisbon Treaty is on ice and the missile shield is too, everything is blocked," he explained.

The ruling party ODS is itself divided, he further elaborated. "The government and the ministers would rather go for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, but [ODS] members of parliament, especially in the Senate, are reluctant to vote on it. It is not certain that the Lisbon Treaty will go through the Senate. That's why there has not yet been a real trial. As the government doesn't want a failure, they would rather postpone it," Pachta added. source

My comment: Can you believe it! I mean seriously! They are stalling the Lisbon Treaty, because of Obama's decision. Is it just me or they are absolutely crazy?! How could they connect the two thing, when they have nothing to do one with another. They surely cannot expect to black mail the US president that they won't sign the European Treaty. Like he cares! Or like he must care! That's absurd.

Support in Ireland growing for Lisbon Treaty

2 February 2009

Most Irish people expect that any second referendum on the European Union's reform treaty would be passed, a national poll on 30 January showed.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents in the Lansdowne poll said Ireland would pass a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty later this year, and 61 percent said they were concerned about the country losing its status in Europe.

Around 56 percent said they expected the government, whose term runs out in 2012, would be forced into a general election this year. source

My comment: Of course they will want to stay in the EU. The EU provides stability, something that noone can deny, even when there's clear lack of solidarity. And after all they have benefited so much from their membership. I'm sure they started to realise they were manipulated, Irish people are not that stupid. Funnily enough, the Czech president said that we shouldn't force them to sign the Treaty. I wonder, isn't he forcing them not to sign it? Because obviously they want it now.

EU to play Iceland card to prop up Lisbon Treaty

30 January 2009

As Croatia's EU accession bid continues to stall, Brussels has indicated that Iceland is welcome to apply for membership, providing a piggy-back for amendments to the Lisbon Treaty promised to Ireland in the hope of obtaining a positive result in the second referendum, planned for October.

Iceland will be fast-tracked into the European Union if its government applies to join this year, an unnamed senior Brussels official was quoted by three major British newspapers as saying today (30 January).

The European Commission is preparing itself for a membership bid by Reykjavik, but a potential application depends on the outcome of a snap general election expected this spring, the reports say.

The conservative government in Reykjavik collapsed this week, after unprecedented riots in the capital forced the government to resign, thus becoming the first executive to fall as a result of the financial crisis. A caretaker centre-left government was put in place until new elections, which will probably be held in May.

Recently, Rehn said that should Iceland file an application for EU membership, all he would have to do is ask his fellow commissioner Siim Kallas, responsible for administrative affairs, to add "a couple of experts on fishing" to the negotiating team.

Despite Iceland's hard-hit economy, the EU does not consider the Arctic country to be "impoverished", Rehn recently told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

The commissioner did not rule out Iceland joining even before Croatia does, and hinted that he would like to see a competition develop between the two countries to become the 28th EU member.

Croatia's bid was unexpectedly boosted by EU leaders at the December summit in Brussels. The decision to accommodate the Irish government requires that the Lisbon Treaty be amended to help convince Irish people to say 'yes' in a new referendum. A new round of ratifications would be required, unless the changes are incorporated as an annex to a future accession treaty instead. As French President Sarkozy said at the time, these could be introduced with Croatia's EU accession treaty "in 2010 or 2011".

But Croatia's accession negotiations are blocked at present over a territorial conflict with EU member Slovenia. In this context, "a bid by Iceland could play the role of a spare wheel" to help push through the battered Lisbon Treaty, a source from DG Enlargement told EurActiv. source

My comment: Bottom line, the EC never ceases to amaze me. But then, Iceland should be a part of the EU, so I can only be happy about his surprise. And the bigger the EU, the merrier. Maybe that will finally make the old members to realise that the old kingdom is over, and the new one is here.

Czechs delay Lisbon vote again, despite popular support

29 January 2009

The Czech parliament's vote on the Lisbon Treaty has once again been deferred to allow a parliamentary committee to examine the text further. Meanwhile, almost two thirds of Czech citizens are in favour of ratifying the treaty, a poll has found.

Parliamentary scrutiny of the treaty has already been deferred once, in December 2008 (EurActiv 10/12/08), with a view to holding a parliamentary debate and possibly a vote on 3 February 2009.

The Czech parliament's speaker announced that the vote will now take place on February 15, buying more time for the foreign affairs committee to scrutinise certain aspects of the document. However, the speaker, Miloslav Vlcek, appeared to draw a line in the sand by stressing that parliament could not keep postponing the vote indefinitely.

In a poll published this week by the Czech agency STEM, 64% of Czechs said they were in favour of the treaty's ratification, despite 70% of the respondents' acknowledgement that they do not fully understand the changes that the treaty entails.

STEM analysts argued that the contradiction occurred because a majority of those polled believe the Czech EU Presidency to be raising the country's profile in Europe, fearing that failure to ratify the treaty could damage this new-found prestige.

Meanwhile, Germany's constitutional court this week received a second complaint concerning the treaty's constitutionality, which has the potential to delay German ratification of the treaty by several months. source

My comment: No comment, really. To stall something that even your own citizens support is simply nonsense. I hope they realise it at some point. The treaty might not be a crucial nessecity, but it's the only compromise all the members achieved and as such, it's the best thing we have.


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