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ELDR Prime Ministers united in calling continued ratification of the Lisbon Treaty


25 Jun 2008


Justice & Home Affairs
Central Europe
EU Priorities 2020

On Thursday 19th June 2008 more than 40 European Liberal Democrat leaders, ministers, and European commissioners, including 5 liberal prime ministers, gathered in Brussels for the ELDR Leaders and Ministers meeting. The subject of the future of the Lisbon Treaty was the main topic of conversation following last week’s Irish referendum result. The liberal prime ministers outlined their commitment to the Treaty and their desire to see the ratification process continue.

“We respect the outcome of the Irish referendum, but there is a huge disappointment felt by the European liberal family. We are committed to the Treaty and we invite those countries still to ratify the document to do so as soon as they can. We need to find a solution that is acceptable to Ireland and the Irish public before the end of the year” stated Annemie Neyts, ELDR party President “.

“The reforms outlined in the Lisbon Treaty are very liberal reforms and a victory for liberalism. That’s why we should stand up for them”, said Cecilia Malmstrom, Europe Affairs Minister of Sweden that will hold next year’s EU Presidency.

“We regret the outcome of the referendum in Ireland. I do believe that we need the Lisbon Treaty, but in respect of the results we should invite the Irish government to bring forward its proposals and ideas” – added Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark. “We need – he concluded - to sort out the EU’s institutional matters as soon as possible so that we can focus on the issues of real concern to the European citizens: 1) climate change and environmental solutions; 2) international terrorism and illegal immigration; 3) the fifth freedom (free movement of knowledge, education, research and innovation).”

Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, Prime Minister of Romania observed, “we find ourselves in a complicated situation , but this is not the first time the EU has been in this position and I am convinced a solution will be found that is suitable for all of us”

“We have to encourage every EU country to ratify the Treaty – stated Finnish Prime Minister, Matti Vanhanen, we therefore support the continuation of the ratification process. We are in this together; it is not just a problem that Ireland needs to solve on its own, concluded Vanhanen.

Graham Watson, Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group in the European Parliament reported that there had been differing views expressed during this week’s plenary session on the future approach. Watson also warned that “asking Ireland to vote again would undermine the EU’s credibility and could encourage nationalist parties to receive greater support in the 2009 European Parliament elections”.

Chiara Puletti -
Communication Officer / Attachée de Communication
ELDR European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party
ELDR Parti Européen des Libéraux, Démocrates et Réformateurs (aisbl)


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