Thursday

18th Jan 2018

Ireland to work with EU lawyers on Lisbon opt-outs

Irish Taoisach Brian Cowen said his government is consulting with EU council legal services on drafting possible "opt-outs" to the Lisbon treaty, speaking after an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday (17 October).

"We are prepared to go into that process in good faith," he said, the Irish Times reports, with the structure of the European Commission, EU military integration, taxation and civil rights the likely areas of concern.

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.

  • Brian Cowen at the EU summit in Brussels this week (Photo: eu2008.fr)

The Irish leader also underlined his personal support for the Lisbon document and used Iceland's financial meltdown to show the benefits of EU and eurozone membership.

"There is a huge body of opinion - not shared by the Irish people as things stand - that sees the need for stronger institutions, for better decision-making processes, for more effective decision-making to make sure we can deal with challenges that transcend national boundaries," Mr Cowen said.

"I wouldn't like to think what the situation would be if we ended up like them [Iceland] with our own currency," he added. "The access to the resources of the ECB [European Central Bank] far outweighs the resources of the Irish central bank or Iceland's central bank."

Ireland rejected the Lisbon treaty in a referendum in June, causing a headache for the country's pro-European Fianna Fail government, with 22 other EU states having already completed ratification.

The Irish leader on the first day of the EU summit pledged to come up with a road map for getting out of the situation in time for the EU summit in December.

But any future solution is unlikely to be in place in time for the June 2009 European elections, in a situation that will see 12 EU states lose 15 MEPs between them in order to comply with exisiting Nice treaty rules.

A debate in Ireland's upper house - the Seanad - on Thursday saw senator Eugene Regan, a lawyer and a member of the equally pro-European Fine Gael opposition party, suggest the EU runs the elections on Lisbon rules anyway.

"I don't believe any constitutional issue arises here. I do think it is a problem that we have created," he said.

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.

News in Brief

  1. Catalan parliament elects separatist speaker
  2. Czech government resigns
  3. MEPs back tighter export rules on cyber tech
  4. Annual eurozone inflation at 1.4 percent in December
  5. EPP group calls for 'European Netflix'
  6. Ex-MEP Goulard slated for senior French bank post
  7. Luxembourg speaks out in support of Palestinian state
  8. Danish fishing communities to be hit hard by Brexit, says report

Stakeholders' Highlights

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