Voices from Russia

Monday, 16 June 2008

The EU Attempts to Save the Lisbon Treaty

Filed under: diplomacy,EU,politics — 01varvara @ 00.00

European Union foreign ministers gathered in Luxembourg to discuss the fate of the Lisbon Treaty. This is the first EU meeting at the ministerial level since the Irish No vote on the Lisbon Treaty. Over 53 percent of the Irish who went to the polls voted against the ratification of the treaty in Thursday’s referendum. Judicially, the Irish vote put an end to efforts aimed at granting European integration a constitutional form.

It is not mere chance that United Europe perceived the results as a set back, and the outcome provoked perplexity, said the head of the European security department of the Institute of Europe, Dmitri Danilov. “The EU has no stand-by plan of action in such a situation. Understandably, all 27 EU members must ratify the treaty for it to come into force. It’s unclear how Brussels will act. The only possibility is to persuade the Irish people to agree on holding a fresh referendum. But, this shall undoubtedly delay the ratification and the treaty coming into force. This is quite unpleasant for the EU”, Mr Danilov said.

Such a scenario has already been considered as the most probable move. Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the French State Secretary for European Affairs, said the only acceptable solution could be repeating the referendum by the Irish people at the earliest possible date. If Ireland rejects the treaty once again, according to experts, the European integration might have to be reformatted. This means a return to the old idea of “two speeds in Europe”. Moreover, the dividing lines in Europe are clearly visible. This was witnessed by the Schengen Agreement that embraces a group of countries in the euro-zone and several other moves.

However, the leading countries in Europe are pursuing a temporising policy. A joint statement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nikolas Sakozy describes the treaty as a very important document for European integration and they called on Ireland to ratify it.

16 June 2008

Yevgeny Kryshkin

Voice of Russia World Service



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