15th Aug 2018

Poland kicks EU constitution into uncertain future

The Polish lower house voted to put off a decision on whether to ratify the EU constitution by referendum or parliament on Tuesday (5 July), booting the charter off the agenda until after the September general elections at the earliest.

One hundred and eighty nine members opted to freeze the ratification process against 180 in a narrow vote, with the winning camp mostly made up of rightist parties such as Civic Platform (PO) and Law and Justice (PiS), while the losers came predominantly from left-leaning groups such as the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Warsaw has opted to put the treaty on ice (Photo: European Commission)

PO and PiS are widely tipped to come to power in a coalition government following the September elections, which could spell trouble for the constitution's future in Poland.

"This vote was supposed to create the legal basis for a future referendum. The next parliament might return to the issue of ratifying the treaty, but it will probably be more eurosceptic than the present one", Polish lower house speaker Wlodzimierz Cimosiewicz told PAP.

"It might happen, that Poland ceases to cooperate with its European partners on this issue", he added.

Poland joins list

Wednesday's vote has put Poland on the same list as five other countries that opted to freeze the ratification process in the wake of the French and Dutch no votes - the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Denmark and the Czech republic.

The move is in line with a June EU summit decision to put ratification on hold until the Austrian EU presidency in early 2006 in order to allow a cooling off period.

But more and more constitution-watchers have begun to pronounce the existing document stone dead.

Eleven countries have ratified the treaty so far, while Luxembourg will persevere with votes later this month.

Polish president Alexander Kwasniewski had initially pushed for a 9 October referendum date, but made a u-turn on his recommendations in late June as the French and Dutch wave of euro-pessimism sloshed eastward.

A source in the Polish delegation to Brussels explained that on the one hand, the existing Polish government had nothing to lose from an October vote as it was on its way out from power anyway.

But on the other hand, a third no vote from the EU's sixth largest country could further damage the European integration process as a whole.


EU Commission paying too much for iPhones and IT

EUobserver has obtained internal documents and emails from within the European Commission that outline questionable contracts with outside suppliers who appear to be overcharging for goods and services.

News in Brief

  1. Salvini questions EU 'constraints' after bridge collapse
  2. Bosnian Serbs to rewrite 1995 Srebrenica genocide report
  3. Malta to allow Aquarius migrants to disembark
  4. Juncker sends condolences over Genoa bridge collapse
  5. EU pledges €500,000 more for Indonesian earthquake island
  6. EU commission in talks with states on new Aquarius migrants
  7. Man held after car crashes into UK parliament security barrier
  8. Brexit delays better readability of medicines' instructions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. How long can Bulgaria keep facing both East and West?
  2. EU commission steps up legal case against Poland
  3. Separation of powers instead of 'Spitzenkandidat' process
  4. Revealed: ExxonMobil's private dinner with Cyprus' top EU brass
  5. What Salvini teaches us about Operation Sophia
  6. 14 lobbyist meetings with Oettinger and Canete went unminuted
  7. UK poll suggests Brits would now vote Remain
  8. Some EU states face delays in 5G preparation

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us