Sunday

23rd Sep 2018

Sarkozy says Ireland will have to vote again

  • Mr Sarkozy will visit Dublin next week to discuss the treaty options (Photo: EUobserver)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said that Ireland will have to vote once more on the EU treaty, in a move bound to ruffle feathers in Dublin, which has yet to say publicly how it plans to react to last month's treaty rejection.

According to a report in the Irish Times, Mr Sarkozy told a meeting of deputies from his UMP party in Paris on Tuesday (15 July): "The Irish will have to vote again."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The phrase was repeated to journalists by several deputies leaving the meeting.

The remark comes ahead of Mr Sarkozy's visit to Ireland on Monday (21 July) to discuss Ireland's options with Prime Minister Brian Cowen.

Speculation has been high about the political room for manuoeuvre open to Mr Cowen since Irish voters rejected the treaty on 12 June. Most analysts suggest that Dublin will have to opt for a second vote with France and Germany, in particular, keen to get the document put in place.

But this is the first time that this line of thought has been so directly connected to the Elysee Palace, which is currently also running the EU as presidency country until the end of the year.

Reacting to the comments - which were downplayed but not denied by the French government - Irish foreign minister Micheal Martin said that Mr Sarkozy will listen but not "impose a solution" during the planned five-hour talks next week.

He stressed that Ireland would take its own decision on the matter but it was too early to speculate on what this would be, reports state broadcaster RTE.

Mr Sarkozy's comments are set to raise the political stakes at next week's Dublin meeting, parts of which are also to be attended by representatives from the pro- and anti-treaty camps.

So far, Mr Cowen has refused to speculate on what his political options are. Instead, he has said he will come with further analysis of the situation at an October meeting of EU leaders.

But he is bound to be feeling the pressure, as 23 of the 27 member states have now ratified the treaty, which needs to be passed by all countries before it can go into force.

Adding to his discomfort, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told the Italian parliament on Tuesday:"There has only been one No to the ratification of the treaty, and I do not expect any more."

Bloomberg reports him as saying that Polish President Lech Kaczynski had told him his country would not block treaty ratification. Mr Barroso also said the Czech Republic would not pose a problem.

Meanwhile, an article in French daily Le Monde on Tuesday suggests that as a sop to Ireland, all member states in the future will continue to have a permanent EU commissioner - instead of the reduced commission planned under the Lisbon Treaty.

This, as well as reassurances that abortion, taxation and neutrality issues will not be affected could be debated as part of an Ireland package at the October summit and adopted by EU leaders in December paving the way for a possible second Irish vote next year.

Agenda

Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK

The EU will be watching closely how the political dynamics of Theresa May's Conservative party conference starting next week will influence Brexit negotiations. MEPs might also be forced to release their office expenses.

Feature

Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit

Decisions in the EU are a complicated process of intense negotiations, quid pro quos and horse-trading, until an agreement can finally be reached. But that didn't happen in Salzburg.

Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate

Issues of sovereignty remain entrenched following a proposal by the European Commission to expand the EU's border and coast guard, also known as Frontex, to 10,000. But EU leaders maintain a "basic consensus" of support had been reached.

Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU

The justice commissioner says the accommodation-rental website will better inform users about prices, and about the legal status of their 'hosts'. Facebook, however, could face sanctions if it doesn't comply with EU rules.

Agenda

Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK

The EU will be watching closely how the political dynamics of Theresa May's Conservative party conference starting next week will influence Brexit negotiations. MEPs might also be forced to release their office expenses.

Feature

Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit

Decisions in the EU are a complicated process of intense negotiations, quid pro quos and horse-trading, until an agreement can finally be reached. But that didn't happen in Salzburg.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us