Monday

26th Feb 2024

Polish parliament approves EU treaty

  • Poland is set to be the 7th EU country ratifying the Lisbon treaty (Photo: EUobserver)

The lower house of the Polish parliament approved the European Union's new treaty on Tuesday (1 April).

The document, which EU leaders signed in December in Lisbon and which aims to revitalise the bloc's institutions and boost its efficiency, was approved by 384 deputies from the 460-seat lower house, the Sejm.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Fifty-six parliamentarians out of the 452 present voted against the bill, which enables the president to officially ratify the treaty, while 12 abstained - all of them hardliners within the conservative Law and Justice Party.

The Sejm's special session was convened after Liberal Prime Minister Donald Tusk (Civic Platform party) and conservative opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski of the Law and Justice Party struck a deal on Tuesday (31 March), lifting the threat of a block by the opposition.

Mr Kaczynski had been threatening since mid-March to obstruct ratification of the Lisbon treaty unless Warsaw won more guarantees on sovereignty, and on the Polish constitution remaining the highest law in the country.

Supported by his twin brother, Polish President Lech Kaczynski, the former premier had evoked anti-German and homophobic arguments, fearing for instance that gay marriages could be "imposed" on Poland, should the Lisbon treaty be ratified in its current form.

His party voted in favour of the treaty on Tuesday, however, after reaching an agreement with Prime Minister Tusk to have a parliamentary resolution adopted that would contain references to Poland's sovereignty in the face of EU legislation.

Poland's President, present at the session, also told parliamentarians that the adoption of the treaty would be good news for both Poland and the EU, according to German news agency DPA.

The ratification bill is now expected to be approved by the Polish Senate on Wednesday (2 April). The process will then be finalised with a signature by the country's president.

So far, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Malta, Romania, France and Bulgaria have approved the document.

Ratification of the Lisbon treaty is expected to be finalised by the end of this year, in order that the treaty can come into force in 2009.

So far, only Ireland is to hold a referendum on the treaty, expected in June.

Analysis

Almost 20 names in running for EU top jobs

With four months until the European Parliament elections, there are already some 20 names in the hat for the ensuing reshuffle of EU top jobs.

EUobserved

New government in Belfast is much ado about not much

The deal to restore Northern Ireland's government — after nearly two years — is being spun as a major triumph. But not much has changed. This is an exercise in fine-tuning and political window-dressing.

Germany speeds up Georgia and Morocco asylum returns

Germany is expanding agreements to return rejected asylum seekers to their countries of origin as part of a wider shift in Europe to curtail migration. Berlin has reached deals with Georgia and Morocco since December.

Latest News

  1. EU rewards Tusk's Poland on rule of law with €137bn
  2. UK-EU relations defrosting ahead of near-certain Labour win
  3. EU paid Russia €420-per-capita for fossil fuels since war began
  4. After two years of war, time to hit Putin's LNG exports
  5. Creating the conditions for just peace in Ukraine
  6. Energy and minerals disputes overshadow new EU-ACP pact
  7. Germany speeds up Georgia and Morocco asylum returns
  8. How Amazon lobbyists could be banned from EU Parliament

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us