Thursday

27th Jul 2017

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 and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  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.

Investigation

Inside the Code of Conduct, the EU's most secretive group

The informal group of national officials that is in charge of checking EU countries' tax laws is now working on the first EU blacklist of tax havens, amid critiques over its lack of transparency and accountability.

Ombudsman asks for more details on Barroso case

Emily O'Reilly has asked the EU Commission to say what former commissioners should be allowed to do after they leave office and explain why it took no decision over its former president's controversial new job.

Investigation

Inside the Code of Conduct, the EU's most secretive group

The informal group of national officials that is in charge of checking EU countries' tax laws is now working on the first EU blacklist of tax havens, amid critiques over its lack of transparency and accountability.

News in Brief

  1. Werner Hoyer re-appointed as EU investment bank chief
  2. Spanish PM denies knowledge of party corruption
  3. France 'routinely' abuses migrants, says NGO
  4. Swedish government rocked by data scandal
  5. Member states relocate 3,000 migrants in June
  6. Top EU jurist says Malta's finch-trapping against EU law
  7. EU judges rule to keep Hamas funds frozen
  8. EU court rejects passenger data deal with Canada

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  3. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  4. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  5. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  6. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  7. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  8. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  10. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  11. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  12. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way

Latest News

  1. Insults fly after EU ultimatum to Poland
  2. UK requests EU migration study, 13 months after Brexit vote
  3. EU defends airline data-sharing after court ruling
  4. Stop blaming Trump for Poland’s democratic crisis
  5. EU-US scrap on Russia sanctions gets worse
  6. Czechs, Hungarians, and Poles have one month to start taking migrants
  7. EU Commission sets red lines for Poland on Article 7
  8. Court told to 'dismiss' case against EU migrant quotas