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.


  1. I suggest adding a new concern for your good self as follows:

    In Britain rising debt and a deteriorating economy combined with a deep corruption scandal involving much of Parliament could force a national election before Lisbon ratification due to the other problems you mention.

    It seems certain all parties will be forced to then concede a Lisbon Treaty ratification removal referendum which on present polls looks certain to succeed.

    Blair's Presidency purchase price tag to the EU already appears insupportable for the British exchequer. Thus even if Gordon Brown can cling on to power until after the Treaty is completely ratified the UK will be forced to default on its ridiculous commitments to the EU., precipitating a major EU financing crisis at the likely low point of the EU recession.

  2. Martin Cole,

    Yes, I have noted the opposition's call for a general election. It tended to overshadow the Conservatives' launch of their campaign for the European Parliament elections.

    New loose ends will be noted if they appear.

    With regard to Britain's commitments to the European Union, one can always debate the degree of reasonableness (rebate and all), but Nosemonkey has posted on the numbers, gross and net.

    I suppose that if the UK government defaults on its commitments in general, it will include its dues to the EU.

    Despite being an outsider, I don't see a reversal of the Lisbon Treaty ratification or a default by Britain as a success for the country or Europe.

    The world is full of examples of politicians and popular opinion making shortsighted choices, but that's life.


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