Sarkozy to propose EU plan later this year

Wednesday 16 September 2009 17.27
Nicolas Sarkozy - Address to EU Parliament on Lisbon Treaty
Nicolas Sarkozy - Address to EU Parliament on Lisbon Treaty

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he will propose a solution for the EU's stalled Lisbon Treaty in October or December in consultation with Irish ministers.

He was speaking during a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The most pressing European political issue for the French is to try to figure out what to do following Ireland's rejection of the treaty.

The status of the treaty is even more unclear, with Britain, Germany and the Czech Republic awaiting the outcomes of court cases before completing ratification.

Observers believe the UK and German cases against the treaty are likely to be rejected, but the Czech situation is not as clearcut.

Meanwhile, Poland's President Lech Kaczynski has refused to finalise ratification amid a complex internal dispute concerning the powers of the presidency, and also, he said, because it was pointless unless and until Ireland ratifies.

Today, President Sarkozy told the European Parliament that it had to figure out how to get Europe out of its crisis.

He said that it was not up to a Frenchman to judge the Irish vote, adding that his first visit as President of the European Council would be to Ireland.

Mr Sarkozy is expected in Dublin on 21 July next.

He said that he would listen and dialogue with the Government to try to find a solution.

He said he did not want to offend his Irish colleagues but made it clear that there is a deadline. Europe needed to know whether the 2009 European Parliament elections would be under the Lisbon Treaty or the Treaty of Nice, he said.

And there was a warning that EU enlargement could not go ahead until a solution is found. He said that the current rules were for a Europe of 27 - to add more countries new institutions would be needed.