Saturday

29th Apr 2017

Lisbon treaty storms through Swedish parliament

  • The old town in Stockholm (Photo: wikipedia)

The Swedish parliament late on Thursday (20 November) adopted the Lisbon treaty by a sweeping majority, becoming the 23rd EU country to ratify the text.

The treaty was passed by 243 votes against 39 at 23:30 local time, with 13 abstentions and 54 deputies absent from the 349-seat legislature, the Riksdag.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The opposition Left Party and Green Party had tried to build a 48-vote blocking minority to put off ratification for one year. But the four parties in the centre-right government coalition and the main Social Democrat opposition party pushed through the EU document.

The long debate, which started at noon and saw 36 members take the floor, concentrated on Sweden's collective labour agreements and transfer of sovereignty.

"Why can't Sweden ask for a legally-binding exemption for the collective bargaining model?" Left Party deputy Hans Linde asked, Swedish daily Aftonbladet reports.

"This is by far the biggest shift in power since we joined the EU," he added, comparing the Lisbon text - which patched together bits of the defunct EU constitution - to "Frankenstein's Monster."

"Sometimes, people must follow what they believe is right. Today, I cannot follow the moderate line," government coalition Moderate Party rebel Anne-Marie Palsson said.

Swedish collective labour agreements - in which workers' groups agree pay with employers - came to the fore in a European Court of Justice verdict in 2007. The court ruled in favour of Latvian company Laval in a case concerning the town of Vaxholm, clearing the way for cheap eastern European labour to enter the Nordic country.

"This issue has nothing to do with the Lisbon treaty," Moderate Party member Goran Lennmaker said, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

"[The treaty] means that the EU will go some way towards being more democratic and transparent," Social Democrat deputy Sven-Erik Osterberg added, referring to Lisbon-envisaged plans to give more law-making powers to the European Parliament.

"Sweden is one of the countries that would lose most of the influence if the Lisbon treaty is not adopted," Swedish EU minister Cecilia Malmstrom said, pointing out that Sweden will lose seats in the European legislature under the existing Nice treaty.

Final four

The Swedish result comes after Ireland voted No to Lisbon in a referendum in June. A small crowd of anti-Lisbon campaigners protested outside the Swedish embassy in Dublin on Thursday, saying the Irish government should have told Sweden the treaty is dead.

The Czech Republic is awaiting a constitutional court verdict on 25 November before resuming parliamentary ratification. A German constitutional court verdict is expected in early 2009.

The Polish president has refused to sign off on the treaty unless Ireland overturns its No.

Eurozone bank needs more scrutiny, says NGO

Transparency International says eurozone's central bank is not subject to "appropriate democratic scrutiny" and should have no say on EU bailout projects.

Analysis

From Bratislava to Rome: Little more than a show of unity

The so-called Bratislava process of reflection for the EU came to an end on Saturday, but there were few tangible results that citizens could take away from the soul-searching. Despite that, unity among the EU-27 has been maintained.

News in Brief

  1. Vote of no confidence prepared against Spanish PM
  2. Syria to buy Russian anti-missile system
  3. Germany seeks partial burka ban
  4. Libya has no plan to stop migration flows
  5. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  6. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  7. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  8. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCharlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum Tells Kids to "Eat Well, Drink Well, Move!"
  2. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  3. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act on Climate Change
  4. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  5. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  7. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  8. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  9. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  10. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  11. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  12. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process

Latest News

  1. EP chief faces questions after homophobic 'summit'
  2. EU signals Northern Ireland could join if united with Ireland
  3. One year later: EU right to open Internet still virtual
  4. Rethinking Europe's relationship with Turkey
  5. Mob storms Macedonian parliament
  6. MEPs retain secrecy on office spending
  7. May accuses EU-27 of 'lining up against Britain'
  8. Resurrected Renzi to regain leadership of Italy's ruling party