Thursday, 8 January 2009

Lisbon not necessary for Ireland's commissioner

So there we have it. It's not necessary for Ireland to swallow the entire Lisbon Treaty - and all the power transfers from the elected Irish government to the EU that it entails - in order to retain an Irish Commissioner.

The Irish Times reports today that the Czech EU presidency is preparing a contingency plan for the composition of the Commission in case Ireland rejects Lisbon for a second time later this year.

In the event of a second 'No' vote, the rules of the EU's existing - post Nice - treaty will stand. They state that if the number of EU member states reaches 27, the number of commissioners would then be reduced.

Czech deputy prime minister Alexander Vondra told the Irish Times, "On the composition of the commission we have to be ready for both possible scenarios: One scenario is that the Lisbon Treaty enters force at the end this year or we have to act and co-operate in the EU under Nice."

In order to meet the requirement that the number of commissioners must be 'at least one less' than the number of member states, a solution now being touted is that all member states maintain a commissioner except for the country that holds the position of EU foreign policy chief.

To gain an advantage in one of the most sensitive areas of debate during the first referendum, the Irish government had already secured an agreement from the EU that the clause in Lisbon enabling all member states to retain a commissioner would be invoked - if the treaty is approved.

But in highlighting the reality that changes to the composition of the Commission to the same effect can be made without the Lisbon Treaty being in force, the Czechs have kicked away the foundations of one of the main propaganda points set to be used by the 'Yes' lobby in their attempt to win the second Irish referendum.

1 comment:

Daniel1979 said...

Thank goodness for the Czechs!

I emailed President Klaus last year regarding Lisbon last summer, I recently published the email and reply on my blog. It is an interesting read.(hope it is ok to link from here...)