French Minister: Difficult to implement Lisbon treaty

Irish voters on Friday rejected the treaty to overhaul the European Union's unwieldy institutions, putting the entire bloc's reform plan in peril and humiliating Ireland's political leaders.

French Minister: Difficult to implement Lisbon treaty
France's finance minister has strong hopes that the European Union will soon have another treaty on reforms to replace one rejected by Irish voters.

"We will certainly go through an indepth analysis of what took place and what did not take place," French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde told a seminar on Asian integration in South Koera.

She said implementing the Lisbon Treaty was "going to be difficult".

Irish voters on Friday rejected the treaty to overhaul the European Union's unwieldy institutions, putting the entire bloc's reform plan in peril and humiliating Ireland's political leaders.

The pact, known as the Lisbon treaty, failed by a margin of 53.4 to 46.6 percent in the only EU country to put it to a popular vote.

But just as the Lisbon treaty was drafted after France and the Netherlands rejected the previous treaty, Lagarde said she was "absolutely certain" there would be another Lisbon or some other agreement on reforms.

"We Europeans believe that it is either all of us or none of us," she said.

The treaty was an effort to resurrect EU reforms that were torpedoed by French and Dutch voters in 2005.

This time all countries but Ireland avoided a referendum. The "No" vote means a country with fewer than 1 percent of the EU's 490 million population could doom a treaty painstakingly negotiated by all 27 member states.

The treaty envisages a long-term president of the European Council of EU leaders, a stronger foreign policy chief and a mutual defence pact. It was due to take effect on Jan. 1, but cannot come into force if a single member fails to ratify it.

Reuters
Last Mod: 15 Haziran 2008, 16:17
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