Sunday

21st Jan 2018

Juncker rules out Lisbon treaty before 2010

The European Union's Lisbon Treaty will not enter into force before the European Parliament elections in June 2009, as was initially hoped, and is unlikely to do so before 1 January 2010 either, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said in Brussels on Wednesday (17 September).

"I don't think that the treaty will be in place in June [2009], when the next European elections will take place," Mr Juncker, who is also the president of the eurogroup - gathering the finance ministers of the eurozone - said at a conference organised by the Brussels-based European Policy Centre (EPC).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Juncker: "If I was the Irish Prime Minister, I wouldn't go for a second referendum in the next few months" (Photo: Council of the European Union)

In order for the document to be in place by June 2009, it would have to be ratified by all 27 EU member states by February - something which according to Luxembourg's premier is "not realistic."

"It's not possible to have this treaty enter into force before the year 2010," he stressed.

Mr Juncker is the first high-level politician to publicly state the Lisbon treaty may be impossible to adopt next year.

Originally, the document - aimed to replace the failed European Constitution and to provide for a better and more efficient functioning of the EU - was planned to enter into force in January 2009.

But Irish citizens voted No in a referendum on the treaty in June, casting a doubt over the possibility to reach the goal.

EU leaders will be expecting to hear from Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on the issue at a summit meeting in October, with the EU insisting ratification of the document should continue in other member states, and a second referendum in Ireland seen by some as a possibility to bypass the June No vote.

Mr Juncker, however, said that a possible revote in Ireland should not take place in the immediate future.

"Given the economic crisis we're living in, given the confidence that's lacking, given that governments are increasingly unpopular all over Europe, organising a referendum around a European treaty is a dangerous road to take," he said.

"If I was the Irish Prime Minister, I wouldn't go for a referendum in the next few months."

If the Lisbon treaty does not come into force in 2009, that will affect the composition of both the European Parliament and the European Commission next year, which would have to be conducted under the EU's current set of rules, the Nice treaty.

It would mean that the number of seats in the European Parliament would shrink from the current 785 to 736 – instead of 751, as foreseen in the Lisbon treaty.

But the number of commissioners in the next commission - to be nominated by November 2009 - would also be reduced, as under Nice, their number should be "less than the number of member states."

A previous version of this article stated that if the European Parliament elections in 2009 were conducted under the Nice treaty, there would be 785 seats in the next parliament. In fact, the number of seats would be 736. This has now been corrected.

Commission and council dig in on GMO opt-outs

The European Commission and the EU's national governments pass each other the buck on who should move first on a heavily-criticised proposal on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food.

ECB withheld information on 'flawed' bank supervision

The European Central Bank refused to provide important evidence when the Court of Auditors examined its management of the banking crisis. A court report said the system was substantial but had "flaws".

Fewer MEPs than visitors turn up for Estonian PM

Less than seven percent of MEPs watch Estonian prime minister's speech in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. More visiting students showed up than MEPs, prompting questions of the value of such sessions.

EIB 'more sensitive' to fraud after Dieselgate

The president of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, said the bank had high standards - but did not explain why an anti-fraud report on a loan to Volkswagen was being kept secret.

News in Brief

  1. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  2. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems
  3. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook up hate speech deletion
  4. UK mulls bridge to France
  5. German far-right float anti-asylum bill
  6. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  7. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  8. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia