Thursday

9th Jul 2020

Ireland to get until October to find solution to EU treaty impasse

  • Mr Barroso (r) said opening the institutional part of the Lisbon Treaty would be "extremely difficult" (Photo: © European Communities)

Irish prime minister Brian Cowen is set to win four months reprieve from EU leaders later today in order to work out "how to react" to Ireland's No to the Lisbon Treaty

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has already thrown his weight behind the idea. "I will fully endorse it," he said after speaking to Mr Cowen ahead of the EU leaders' summit.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

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

... or subscribe as a group

Mr Barroso said the October summit under the French EU presidency - which will kick in next month - is the "proper" time to re-visit the thorny topic.

In addition, he once again said that ratification of the new EU treaty should continue.

"The decision of the Irish people must be respected," the commission president said referring to the shock No vote one week ago. But he added that "the right of other member states to reach their own position on the treaty should also be respected."

Over dinner with his counterparts from the 26 other member states this evening, Mr Cowen is to present his government's detailed analysis of the situation that led to the rejection of the treaty.

But he stressed that "it is far too early to put forward proposals."

"I fully accept we will be working intensively to find what ways forward could be available to Ireland."

However, one potential exit strategy currently being floated – to maintain one commissioner for each member state in the future – was shot down by Mr Barroso.

He said it would be "extremely difficult to achieve any change of the Lisbon Treaty."

Under the Lisbon Treaty, the number of commissioners would be reduced to 18 in 2014 with equal rotation between member states for the commissioner-less periods.

The potential loss of an Irish commissioner featured in Ireland's debate before the treaty referendum.

Commission chief under fire for Croatia campaign video

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen recorded a video in support of Croatia's ruling party, which the EU executive said was in her "personal capacity" - and admits it was a "mistake" that this was not made clear.

Parliament vaping booths 'too confidential' to discuss

The European Parliament is refusing to disclose documents on an internal debate on whether to set up e-cigarette smoking booths at its premises in Strasbourg and Brussels, posing questions on how it handles transparency on relatively minor issues.

EU parliament chairs explain missing lobbyist meetings

MEPs in January 2019 agreed to a rule change in a bid for greater transparency. The rules included requiring committee chairs to publish their meetings with registered lobbyists. EUobserver spoke to six chairs, who haven't done so yet.

News in Brief

  1. Rushdie, Fukuyama, Rowling warn against 'intolerance'
  2. Clashes in Belgrade after new lockdown measures
  3. US passes milestone of 3m coronavirus infections
  4. France wary of any future lockdowns
  5. Lithuania bans Kremlin-linked Russia Today programmes
  6. UK nominates Liam Fox for WTO top job
  7. Italy supports Spain's Calviño for Eurogroup job
  8. France and Germany warn Israel on annexation 'consequences'

Commission chief under fire for Croatia campaign video

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen recorded a video in support of Croatia's ruling party, which the EU executive said was in her "personal capacity" - and admits it was a "mistake" that this was not made clear.

Parliament vaping booths 'too confidential' to discuss

The European Parliament is refusing to disclose documents on an internal debate on whether to set up e-cigarette smoking booths at its premises in Strasbourg and Brussels, posing questions on how it handles transparency on relatively minor issues.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Five ideas to reshape 'Conference on Future of Europe'
  2. EU boosts pledges to relocate minors from Greece
  3. Hydrogen strategy criticised for relying on fossil fuel gas
  4. Merkel urges EU unity to hold off economic fallout and populism
  5. The opportunistic peace
  6. EU mulls new system to check illegal pushbacks of migrants
  7. EU forecasts deeper recession, amid recovery funds row
  8. Revealed: fossil-fuel lobbying behind EU hydrogen strategy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us