Sunday

25th Jun 2017

Irish No will not stop Europe advancing, says France

France has indicated that even if the Irish vote No in their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty on Friday, it will not hinder the European Union from taking steps towards further integration.

Pierre Lellouche, France's state secretary for Europe, told French TV on Monday morning (28 September), that a "solution" will be found in case of a second Irish rejection of the treaty as "whatever happens, Europe will advance because we don't have a choice."

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 institutional fate of 500 million Europeans is in the hands of 3 or 4 million Irish. It's a very undecided country," he said.

"We are faced with a world that is soon going to have more than 9 billion people. There is enormous work to do in the fields of energy, immigration, industry and social affairs and we're not going to stop. So we will find a solution if ever we are faced with this type of situation," he added, but refused to say whether there is actually a Plan B in the event of a No vote.

The French comments are further indication of the impatience felt by larger member states that a referendum in one small member state could derail the Lisbon Treaty completely.

Earlier this month, Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi also advocated the creation of a core of EU states that would push ahead with integration.

"If the Lisbon Treaty on EU reform does not pass, we need to completely revisit the current functioning of Europe to create a core of states that operate beyond unanimity," he said.

Recent polls indicate that the result will be a Yes on 2 October. The Ireland of this year is profoundly changed in comparison to when the first vote took place 16 months ago. The financial crisis has plunged the country into double-figure unemployment and it is facing a predicted decline in GDP of 9.8 percent this year. Analysts suggest that fears about jobs and economic security are likely to play towards a Yes vote.

But Brussels remains nervous about the outcome, with the No side fighting a vocal campaign focusing on many of the same issues that were raised ahead of the first vote.

A rejection would stop the treaty coming into force across the 27-nation Union as it needs to be ratified by all member states, meaning the country has become the focus of anti-treaty campaigners from across Europe.

EU extends sanctions on Russia

German chancellor Angela Merkel said that Russia hadn't done enough to implement the so-called Minsk peace process, a condition for lifting the sanctions.

Focus

UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'

British academics want to guarantee residency and work rights for their EU staff, as well as "enhanced mobility opportunities" for UK and EU students, mostly by keeping British participation in EU funding programs.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel and Macron hold symbolic joint press conference
  2. Juncker has 'no' clear idea of kind of Brexit UK wants
  3. Belgian PM calls May's proposal on EU citizens 'vague'
  4. UK lacks support of EU countries in UN vote
  5. Spain to command anti-smuggler Mediterranean force
  6. Estonia confirms opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
  7. Ireland and Denmark outside EU military plan
  8. EU leaders renew vows to uphold Paris climate deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  2. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  3. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  4. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  5. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  6. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  7. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  8. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  9. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  11. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  12. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move

Latest News

  1. Macron’s investment screening idea watered down by leaders
  2. Leaders unimpressed by May’s offer to EU citizens
  3. New Irish PM praises unscripted nature of EU summits
  4. EU extends sanctions on Russia
  5. UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'
  6. Decision on post-Brexit home for EU agencies postponed
  7. May's offer on citizens’ rights dismissed as ‘pathetic’
  8. 'Historic' defence plan gets launch date at EU summit