Friday, 22 May 2009

Åland Islands: Lisbon Treaty & ratification update

Not much of an update, actually, but to keep the editors of Wikipedia and other observers informed.

This blog post can only state that 13 months have now passed since the Åland Parliament registered the request from the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, to approve the European Union’s Treaty of Lisbon (on 21 April 2008).

The matter is still lingering in the Legal Committee, which has failed to issue a report for the plenary. (Earlier posts have dealt with the background.)

National parliaments in 26 EU member states have approved the reform treaty. Finland has completed its ratification procedure, but the unresolved issue is if the Lisbon Treaty will be applicable in the Åland Islands. A positive vote requires a two thirds majority in the regional parliament.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. The loose ends with regard to the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty are:

• In the Czech Republic, President Vaclav Klaus seems bent upon doing all he can to disrupt or delay the procedure, despite ratifications in nearly all member states and the amending treaty now approved by two chambers of the national parliament. The latest excuse is a planned new complaint to the Constitutional Court, which has already ruled on the constitutionality of the Lisbon Treaty.

• In Poland President Lech Kaczynski has withheld his signature from the Lisbon Treaty approved by both houses of parliament.

• In Germany the Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) is expected to ponder the constitutionality of the Lisbon Treaty until after the European elections.

• Ireland has been given political assurances about maintaining the oversized Commission and assurances concerning sensitive areas (abortion, tax, neutrality) if the Lisbon Treaty is approved in the second referendum, probably in October. The final wording of these guarantees is expected at the European Council 18 to 19 June 2009.