Tuesday 15 July 2008

Lisbon Treaty ratification count 23 states and 412 million

Spain (population 44.5 million) is the latest European Union member state to complete the parliamentary ratification process of the Treaty of Lisbon after the resounding Senate vote today: 232 for, 6 against.

Source: Senado http://www.senado.es

The 23 member states where the parliamentary ratification is concluded account for 412.3 million Europeans (about 83 per cent of the total EU population of 495.1 million).

The group of slow, undecided or negative member states has now shrunk to four, with the following population numbers (millions):

The Czech Republic 10.3

Italy 59.1

Sweden 9.1


Ireland 4.3


As of today more than four fifths (85 per cent) of the member states, representing more than four fifths (83 per cent) of the total EU population, have already concluded the parliamentary ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

Ralf Grahn


  1. Tapestry,

    I have explained my criteria more than once and if you are attentive you see it from my choice of words.

    I follow the politically decisive parliamentary ratification decisions.

    Court cases, presidential signatures, depositing ratification instruments and votes in special territories (Gibraltar, Åland) are interesting details, but we live in parliamentary democracies.

    You should have listened to the speeches in the Spanish Senate.

  2. Court cases, presidential signatures, depositing ratification instruments and votes in special territories (Gibraltar, Åland) are interesting details, but we live in parliamentary democracies.

    That is one way to look at it, but if the President in Germany does not sign and the Treaty is ratified without his signature and pubishing the law in Germany, every law that is based on the Treaty is against the German Constitution and therefore void.

    Therefore the signature of the President is as necessary as the vote of the parliament, because it is a formal necessity to put the law into force. No Treaty on national grounds without the signature of the President and without publishing the law in the German Gazette.

  3. European Union Law Blog,

    You are quite right. You could even have added depositing the ratification instrument (external effect).

    I have just chosen to follow the parliaments' decisions, as today when the second chamber (Senate) in Spain voted as convincingly as the Chamber of Deputies.

  4. It is likely that a majority of Spanish people support Lisbon.

    It is most unlikely that a majority of Germans do. A majority of Germans don't even want the wretched Euro.

  5. It is most unlikely that a majority of Germans do. A majority of Germans don't even want the wretched Euro.

    Where do you get that information from? As far as I know there are no such majorities in Germany. Of course, like everywhere, you have people who shout out loud how much they disagree with the Treaty, but we are far away from a national uproar against the ratification. Even online it's mostly the same people on different forums and blogs crying - that are unfortuately mostly basing their opinion on false information.

  6. Oh yes only misinformed people like myself would ever question or be opposed to the grand project?Of course its such a magnificant creation no criticism or debate on its future is permitted.According to this poll a majority of Germans are in favour.Polling Data

    If you had a chance to vote, would you cast a ballot in favour or against the Lisbon Treaty?

    In favour


    Source: Emnid / N24
    Methodology: Interviews with 1,000 German adults, conducted on Jun. 17, 2008. Margin of error is 2.5 per cent.

  7. Ralf I would not worry so much about the final ratification of Lisbon. I will campaign against it and will vote against it but I think it will be passed next time in Ireland by a 55-45 margin.No one is exactly sure what would happen in the event of another rejection and the government will be able to use such fears and exploit it to their advantage.So have a few beers enjoy the summer and relax in the knowledge Lisbon will get through just a little behind schedule.

  8. Vid,

    Despite summer and beer, you should not underestimate the potential of 'anti' forces in the course of human events.

    My blogger friend Tapestry has understood this perfectly, promoting both US defence contractors and 1968'ish peace activists with equal fervour.

    But we are beginning to run out of non-ratifying member states with only four left.

  9. Politics can bring you into alliance with strange and unusual friends, and into opposition with people you like and love.

    There is europe-wide polling in the public domain where I acquired my information about Germany. From memory the polling was commissioned by Open Europe, but I can check that later.

  10. Tapestry,

    In the short term you may be able to build alliances fueled by antagonism towards the European Union and the euro, but can governance ever be built and maintained on such foundations anywhere?

    What would follow from a government based on US defence contractors, nostalgic die-hard nationalists, inheritors of Soviet inspired peace movements, anti-abortionists, religious arch-conservatives, subsidy-guzzling farmers and self-confessed ignoramuses (If you don't know, vote No)?

    Do you have any sustainable ideology of your own, except the hallucination that Europeans and their identitities are crushed by the EU behemoth?

    85 per cent of the national parliaments of the EU member states have already approved the Lisbon Treaty.

    Representative democracy is far from perfect, but think about the alternatives.

  11. I am an opponent of the EU. If my opinions antagonise, that is odd. What do want and expect from your opponents? Hugs and kisses.

  12. I do believe in good government - by the national democracies which are being destroyed by the EU.

    Ireland is awakening to the threat belatedly. Britain is fully alert but the deception practised by Brown, promising the referendum at our election, and then denying one once elected, is the only reason you have your Parliamentary ratification full bag.

    Empires built by deception are obviously all fine by you. In that case, I think further antagonism would be required. But the British will not be content to abide by losing their country through an act of political deception.

    I think that it is right to point that out so that the EU does not waste its time.

    If Britain withdraws then we don't need to anatgonise you further. And our natural friendship can resume.

  13. Tapestry,

    Anti EU and anti Brown seems such poor causes to live for.

    Why don't you start building an effective and democratic European Union instead?

  14. Open Europe a polling source?

    Well, then the European Union Law Blog poll said 95% of Germans want the Treaty and 5% said no, I guess. I just need someone to pay for telling me the result I want is correct. Maybe I can convince EMNID?

  15. Here are the statistics from Global Vision. If democracy has its way the EU is over.


    Let's make Europe democratic, listen to its people, and not impose regimes that don't work, are not wanted, are corrupt and out of time.

  16. Seachtu. These exchanges are so irrelevant (apart from the contribution by Tapestry) as to beggar description. The law is clear. Unless the Lisbon Treaty is ratified by all 27 Member States it cannot come into force. Discussion about population percentages or whatever is totally beside the point. (Who cares about your "criteria"?).

    There is every chance that 26 Member Stste will ratify. What is unclear is the timescale.

    Sarkozy has set out his stall publicly (if unintentionally) and has created a very negative reaction, both in Ireland and in France (to judge by recent blogs). But he is right with regard to the parameters. The European Council has to decide at the latest by December this year on what basis the EP elections next year are to take place.

    And Tapestry is right. The German Constitutional Court takes itself more seriously than you evidently do. One also has to bear in mind the internal German political dimension with competing Presidential candidates (one the incumbent) for election next year, strains within the Grand Coalition and, of course, the federal elections in September.

  17. Seachtu,

    In spite of your supercilious comment, I think that there are grounds for discussion.

    The Lisbon Treaty, as you say, needs to be ratified by 27 member states, as it now stands.

    State and population counts may, for those who are receptive, indicate the political dynamics of the situation.

    Most of the member states want a solution, called the Lisbon Treaty (or the substance of it).

    You seem to assume that the rest of Europe should keep silent out of fear of Irish sensitivities, treating it as a spoilt brat ready to throw tantrums.

    My reading of Sarkozy's comments and visit is: The Irish government cannot prevaricate endlessly. A solution is needed. What is it?

    Is it a second referendum? If so, are there additional suggestions?

    If not, does Ireland look for an amicable resolution, which lets the pro-European countries advance?

    If not, this makes the choices clearer. Is the rest of the European Union going to accept being stuck with the Treaty of Nice, or are other options going to be tabled?

    Let me add that it is with great interest that I wait for the German Constitutional Court to decide (and I hope that it would do so soon).

    Earlier, the Court has given impetus to fundamental rights within the EU.

    The German Constitutional Court can be expected to look at the democratic legitimacy and accountability in the light of the Basic Law, and this in turn may shed more light on these questions at the EU level.

  18. I agree completely with your analysis of the steps ahead. But, if we are to have regard to the state of public opinion in other Member States, we must also have regard to the state of public opinion in Ireland. The only opinion that matters in a democratic society is that of the ballot box and the Union would totally lose its way if this was to be overlooked.

    I have no problem with regard to offending Irish sensibilities. The more reality that is brought into the debate the better. But any assumption that the Irish electorate is alone in Europe in having the gravest doubts about the process leading to the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty is simply misplaced.

    Sarkozy's most recent mistake was to appear to dictate the solution before the Irish internal debate has even begun. The citizens of any democratic state would be failing in their civic responsibility if they did not respond negatively to such an approach.

    As I have tried to make clear on another thread, the Lisbon Treaty is not a thing of beauty and has many negative attributes, especially for smaller MS. The tragedy of the Irish referendum campaign was that the yes side was unable to articulate the obvious viz. that the treaty was a compromise which should be accepted, warts and all, because all the other MS were accepting it.

    Which is where we are now.

  19. Anonymous,

    It pleases me to see that you accept reality therapy, since it is extremely hard for politicians to be candid, especially in a situation like the one the Irish government is in.

    You are right about the state of opinion in other EU countries, too. There are serious problems reaching the population(s) as to why the European Union is needed or even with basic information on how it work (or doesn't).

    National referenda are not the way forward.

    Neither is the nth PR drive to make the EU popular.

    In my view, basic reform is needed:

    Simple and effective structures, with clear accountability.

    Democratic legitmacy based on the EU citizens, through the European Parliament to a politically responsible government.

    But each turn since the European Convention has lead to a poorer substitute, first the Constitutional Treaty and now the Lisbon Treaty.

    The following proposal would hardly be an improvement.

  20. Be careful. You are beginning to sound like Declan Ganley.

    But therein lies the problem. The No side have a case. The well-intentioned No voters in Ireland have to be the target, not the ragbag constellation of groups purporting to represent them.

    I exclude Sinn Fein from this decription as, like it or not, they have a democratic mandate in the Irish Parliament.

    When the result of th extensive poll which the government has commissioned from a reputable firm is known, we will have a better idea of what most concerned No voters. In the meantime, everyone, including Sarkozy, should slow down.

    By the way, Germany and Austria (with one or two other countries) have just confirmed that they are extending the ban on free labour movement until 2011 but Germany will pick and choose suitably qualified labour and will no longer require an applicant to establish that he/she is not displacing a German job.

    And people are wondering why there is a groundswell against Europe in Ireland when immigrant labour has gone from negligible to 10% of the workforce, mainly from the new Member States (with the exception of Bulgaria and Romania)?

    Finland has also been pretty expert at protecting her labour market.

    As I said in an earlier post, states deal in interests not sentiment. This is the information gap in the EU which more waffle from Brussels and elswhere will not remedy. The people are not fools.

  21. Anonymous,

    If you read my latest blog post, you find out that - on the contrary - Declan Ganley is starting to sound like me.

    Finland and the (enlarged) EU labour market:

    In 2004 Finland was cautious enough to institute restrictions on mobility from the Central European entrants, but (if I remember correctly) two years afterwards these restrictions were abolished. There was broad consensus; even the trade unions were on board.

    No restrictions were placed on job seekers from Romania and Bulgaria.

    There is a broad understanding that Finland needs (qualified) migrant workers, so the 'protection' has very little to do with government action; much more with a difficult language and, for some, a harsh climate.

  22. Good. We seem to be reaching some common ground. I was not aware that there had been such a change in the Finnish position. Of course, Ireland would probably also have applied restrictions had the UK (with which Ireland shares a common travel area) done so.

    Free movement applies to all labour, qualified or otherwise.

    I know enough about Scandinavia not to accept climate as the excuse for low immigrant numbers (as the Estonian workers in the Waxholm case discovered).

    All Scandinavian countries have tightly regulated labour markets dominated by the trade unions. Full stop.

  23. Anonymous,

    We are far from the ratification count, but in Finland a legal minimum wage was introduced for posted workers, whereas in Sweden the construction union (Byggnads) arranged a blockade to force the Latvian company to sign a deal according to the Swedish collective agreement, which lacked exact wage levels to apply (i.e. to be negotiated).

    Some have made much mileage out of this Court decision because of its purported 'antisocial' character, but the Swedish system was not EU compatible.

  24. "Germany????"

    Apparently it is not accuracy what counts on this blog :)

  25. Anonymous,

    If you had read the preceding comments and replies on this post (or more of this blog), these questions have been dealt with axhaustively, but once more, in brief:

    a) the parliamentary approval or ratification process (followed here)

    b) other aspects including depositing the ratification instruments in Rome.


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