Sunday

17th Nov 2019

Ireland mulls autumn 2009 Lisbon revote

  • Dublin and Brussels are finding it hard to take No for an answer (Photo: EUobserver)

The Irish government is considering calling a second Lisbon treaty referendum in autumn 2009 after securing concessions on the number of commissioners, abortion, taxation and military neutrality, a major Irish daily reports.

Under the plan, the re-vote in September or October next year would come after the June 2009 European Parliament elections, meaning the total number of MEPs would go down from 785 to 736, instead of 751 as envisaged by Lisbon.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 year's of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

The mandate of the current European Commission would be extended until after the new treaty is in place and EU states would issue a "solemn declaration" that each EU member will keep its own commissioner in the future.

The EU would also annex new statements to Lisbon guaranteeing that small print could not be used to force Ireland to relax its anti-abortion laws, increase corporate taxes or take part in European military integration.

The plan is one of several under discussion by Dublin according to a "senior government source" quoted by The Independent on Wednesday (30 July). "It's shaping that way. It's being kicked around," the contact said.

Ireland has promised to find a solution by the end of the year after some 53 percent of Irish people voted No to the treaty in June.

A July survey showed that 62 percent would reject Lisbon if the referendum was held today and that 71 percent don't want to vote on the subject again.

Dublin risks being isolated on the treaty, with 23 EU member states' parliaments having already given their assent and with the Italian lower chamber also set to approve the document in a vote on Wednesday afternoon.

The Ganley project

Ireland's most prominent No campaigner, Declan Ganley, is currently touring Europe to try and establish a new anti-Lisbon political group in time for the 2009 European elections.

If elected, the wealthy businessman plans to write a reader-friendly, 20-page EU treaty based on the US constitution to replace the esoteric, 400-page long Lisbon text, he said in an interview with Polish newspaper Dziennik.

Mr Ganley told French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Dublin last week that French people would also have rejected the treaty if France had held a referendum. "You may be surprised to hear that he agreed with me," the Irishman said.

Catalan MEP is 'elected', court advisor says

In a boost for the cause of three Catalan MEPs, the advocate general of the EU Court of Justice has recognised their mandate as elected MEPs - but it is up to the parliament if they should enjoy immunity.

Far-right Vox celebrates, as Spain left without majority

Although the governing Socialists Party (PSOE) won the most seats at Sunday's elections, the political deadlock continues with a deeply-fragmented scenario, in which the far-right Vox party is in a strong position while the centre has become irrelevant.

Can Sunday's election end Spain's endless deadlock?

Uncertainty surrounding this weekend's Spanish election - the fourth in four years - is rising, as polls suggest that the outcome of Sunday's vote could be as inconclusive April's election. Thousands of police are on the streets of Barcelona.

New Romanian commissioner completes line-up, bar UK

Ursula von der Leyen has chosen Alina Valean to be Romania's new commissioner. She will get the transport portfolio, putting an end to speculation that Hungary might lose the enlargement portfolio.

Belgium's political deadlock is complete

After 163 days the Belgian government formation is not going anywhere. The King needs to be more creative than ever in trying to find a way out.

News in Brief

  1. Catalan politicians extradition hearing postponed
  2. Germany: EU banking union deal possible in December
  3. EIB: no more funding of fossil-fuel projects
  4. UK defence chief: Russia could trigger World War III
  5. Hungary's Varhelyi will face more questions
  6. Police put former Berlusconi MEP Comi under house arrest
  7. MEPs criticise Poland for criminalising sex education
  8. UK will not name new commissioner before election

Wilmès becomes first female PM of Belgium

On Sunday, Sophie Wilmès was appointed as the new prime minister of Belgium - becoming the first female head of government in the country's history. She replaces Charles Michel who becomes president of the European Council.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  3. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  5. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  6. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  7. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  9. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021

Latest News

  1. France unveils new model EU enlargement
  2. Key moments for new commission This WEEK
  3. EU threatens legal action against UK over commissioner
  4. Corruption in the Balkans: the elephant in the room
  5. Green MEPs unconvinced by Romanian commissioner
  6. EU states fell short on sharing refugees, say auditors
  7. Hungary's commissioner-to-be grilled over loyalty to Orban
  8. Widow's plea as EU diplomats debate Magnitsky Act

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us