Wednesday 6 May 2009

EU Lisbon Treaty countdown

After the adoption of the EU Treaty of Lisbon by the Czech Senate, 26 member states of the European Union have concluded the parliamentary ratification process.

The following loose ends remain:

• In the Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus seems bent upon doing all he can to disrupt the procedure despite ratifications in nearly all member states and an amending treaty now approved by two chambers of the national parliament.

• 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 for a month or two.

• Although Finland has formally concluded the ratification process, the Aland Parliament has still not produced the committee report needed for a vote on the application of the new treaty in the territory of the Åland Islands.

• Ireland has been given political assurances about maintaining the oversized Commission and assurances concerning sensitive areas, if the Lisbon Treaty is approved in the second referendum, probably in October.

Loose cannon

Libertas has rejected the better deal for Ireland, in practical terms in favour of a costly campaign to retain the Treaty of Nice. A certain disdain for representative democracy can be noted.

The unclear situation complicates the European elections (number of MEPs) and the election of Commission President and Commissioners, and time is wasted before the reforms foreseen by the Lisbon Treaty can be put into practice (if ever).

Ralf Grahn

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