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Poland in new blow to EU treaty

From the BBC

Poland in new blow to EU treaty

Poland's President Lech Kaczynski says he will not sign the EU's reform treaty at present, following its defeat in an Irish referendum last month.

He said it would be "pointless" to sign the Lisbon Treaty, even though Poland's parliament has ratified it. All 27 EU members must ratify the document.

Mr Kaczynski was speaking as France took over the EU's rotating presidency.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said "something isn't right" with the EU and warned citizens may be losing faith.

The Lisbon Treaty is intended to streamline EU decision-making following enlargement of the bloc, creating a new EU president and foreign affairs chief.


Mr Kaczynski was speaking in an interview with the Polish daily Dziennik.

"For the moment, the question of the treaty is pointless," he said.

Although the Polish parliament ratified the treaty in April, it still needs the signature of the president.

The BBC's Jonny Diamond in Brussels says Mr Kaczynski now appears to have joined his Czech counterpart in openly opposing treaty ratification.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus and many lawmakers are cool on ratification.

German President Horst Koehler has also delayed ratification - until the country's highest court has delivered a ruling on legal challenges.

Mr Kaczynski warned EU members not to pressure Ireland to find a solution.

"If one breaks the rule of unanimity one time, it will never exist again," he said.

However, the president did say he thought the EU would carry on working.

"The union... is functioning and will continue to function. Certainly it isn't ideal, but a structure this complicated couldn't be ideal."

'Step backward'

There will be a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Tuesday to mark the beginning of France's six-month presidency, which it takes over from Slovenia.

But Mr Kaczynski's comments mark an unhappy opening to the French stint, says our correspondent.

President Sarkozy expressed his concerns in an interview on French television channel France 3.

Mr Sarkozy said: "Something isn't right. Something isn't right at all"

"Europe worries people and, worse than that, I find, little by little our fellow citizens are asking themselves if, after all, the national level isn't better equipped to protect them than the European level," he added, calling such thinking a "step backward".

Mr Sarkozy said: "The first priority is to pinpoint the problem with the Irish voters and to continue to allow other countries to be ratified, especially our Czech friends."

Asked if Ireland should vote again, he said: "I don't want to say it like that because it would give the impression of forcing their hand."

Mr Sarkozy will travel to Dublin on 11 July to hear Irish voters' concerns first-hand, a day after he presents the priorities of the French EU presidency in an address to the EU parliament in Strasbourg.

EU leaders are due to meet in October to hear from Ireland's prime minister on how to move forward after the 'No' vote.

France has set out ambitious plans on immigration, the environment, agriculture and defence for its presidency.

Mr Sarkozy also said he would also work for a Europe-wide cut in value-added tax on restaurant bills and oil to help consumers cope with soaring crude prices.

But his call for the EU to cut VAT on fuel has received little support from other member states.


Re: Poland in new blow to EU treaty

Why are the Eurocrats dumping on the Irish? The Dutch voted no and the French voted no. The degree to which the Eurocrats just forget or pretend that the other no votes didn’t happen is dumbfounding. One can well suspect that most countries would vote no if given the chance.

Re: Poland in new blow to EU treaty

Only the Irish voted on the Lisbon treaty. The French and Dutch votes related to the European Constitution.

Yet more headline grabbing from the pantomime president in my opinion.

Re: Poland in new blow to EU treaty

>>One can well suspect that most countries would vote no if given the chance.

And one can well suspect that the answer would also be no if afterwards you asked them whether they really knew what they were voting for.

Re: Poland in new blow to EU treaty

If they knew what they were voting for they would say no.

30+ % of the EU budget is unaccounted for.
The EU auditors have refused to sign off the accounts for years now due to massive fraud.
Barroso said about the Constitution that we will vote and vote until we get it passed.

Why, Sosh, are you so anti-democratic?

No-one arriving in Brussels and Strasbourg and being plied with large amounts of goodies is going to be anti-centralisation.
I am massively pro-EU but hate it being robbed blind by these evil jerks who are twisting it to their own ends and saying that anyone who stands in their way is a Neanderthal. What sort of progressive philosophy is that? It sort of reminds me of '4 legs good, 2 legs bad'.

Re: Poland in new blow to EU treaty

I'm not anti democratic. Why are you such a troll Varsovarian?

The Lisbon treaty would have helped tidy up a lot of the current administrative mess in the EU.

Re: Poland in new blow to EU treaty

Yes, respecting democratic wishes can be messy. On reflection it's far more progressive and modern to ignore them.

Re: Poland in new blow to EU treaty

Sarko going to Ireland and insulting them has helped the anti-Constitution lobby:

"New poll shows Irish are against a second referendum and would reject Lisbon by even bigger margin than before

A new poll has found that 71% of Irish voters are against a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, and that, of those who expressed an opinion, 62% would vote 'no'. That would mean the "no" lead would increase from 6 points in the recent referendum to a commanding 24 point lead in a second vote."