Posts Tagged ‘Lisbon treaty’


Enlargement, disaster management and Santa Lucia buns


Later today, I will be chairing the last meeting of the General Affairs Council during this presidency. As the Copenhagen climate summit has just started, today’s meeting will also serve as an opportunity for possible small adjustments to the Union’s mandate in the negotiations. Discussions on the conclusions for the European Council on 10-11 December will also be held. The European Council later this week is the point where the Presidency will be delivering on a number of the priorities set.

Enlargement is also on the agenda for the General Affairs Council, with a view to adopting conclusions. In the margins of the meeting, I will also host an informal discussion with colleagues on disaster management. The new Treaty contains a solidarity clause, which obliges Member States to assist each other in case of a disaster. However, if this is to work in practice, the Union will need a more effective and well-coordinated capacity to manage disasters. During today’s discussion – accompanied by Swedish Christmas ‘glögg’ and traditional Santa Lucia saffron buns – we will have a first exchange of views on how this capacity should be developed further.


A more effective and democratic Union


Finally, it’s Lisbon Day. Just a few hours ago, the Lisbon Treaty entered into force. The process initiated by the European Council in December 2001 has now finally resulted in a clear and comprehensive set of rules, which will be governing the European Union for the foreseeable future.

I dare to say that the Lisbon Treaty is the result of the most transparent and democratic process in the Union’s history. Member State governments, national MP’s and the European Parliament were all part of the European Convention that tabled the proposal for the Constiutional Treaty back in 2003. Although the outline is different, the actual contents of the Lisbon Treaty is very similar to the Convention’s original draft.

With the Lisbon Treaty, the EU will be able to take a great leap forward. New provisions will pave the way for more effective and transparent decision-making, a more democratic Union, and a clear focus on citizens.

The discussions on how Europe should be governed has gone on for years. This debate has been important, but it has also prevented Europe from delivering on important policies. As from today, we will need commit all our efforts to take on the great challenges currently facing Europe. It’s climate change, it’s creating conditions for jobs and growth, it’s the fight against cross-border crime and it’s the challenge to turn the Union into a stronger global actor.


Treaty finally ratified!


At a press conference just minutes ago, Czech President Vaclav Klaus announced that he signed the Lisbon Treaty at 3 o’clock this afternoon. This is very good news! This means that all 27 Member States have now ratified the Treaty.

It has been a long trip, but the Lisbon Treaty is now most probably due to enter into force on 1 December. With the Treaty as an important tool, we now begin the trip of making the European more democratic, while increasing transparency and speeding up the decision-making process in a number of key areas.


EU leaders agreed on clarification for Czechs


Today’s session of the European Council is just about to start. This morning, heads of State and Government will continue discussing financing of a global climate agreement. The costs for mitigation and adaptation measures in developing countries will have to be shared between their own efforts, the international market for emission trading and international public funds.

What financial commitment is the European Union ready to make? And how are we to share the costs between the 27 Member States? These two delicate issues will dominate the Council’s agenda today. The Presidency’s aim is to find consensus on as clear a commitment as possible from the Union in light of the upcoming negotiations on a global deal in Copenhagen.

The Lisbon Treaty was moved yet another step closer to its entry into force last night, as European leaders agreed to grant the Czech Republic a clarification, which will satisfy the Czech government and the concerns of the country’s President Vaclav Klaus.

While not at all an ”opt-out” from the entire Charter of Fundamental Rights, as it has sometimes been described, EU leaders agreed that the Czech Republic will accede to the protocol previously agreed for Poland and the UK, which clarifies the contents of the Charter and its relation to national legislation.

It’s also good news that the European Council has endorsed the Baltic Sea Strategy, which was formally adopted at the General Affairs Council on Monday this week.


Czech court ruling on Tuesday?


We have had two fruitful days in Luxemburg with Foreign and EU Ministers. On Monday, we discussed the preparations for the European Council and yesterday the agenda focused on foreign affairs. Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and the Middle East were important topics on the agenda. The General Affairs Council also unanimously adopted the Baltic Sea Strategy, one of the Swedish key priorities.

Even if we will be very busy discussing climate financing at this week’s European Council, there is of course a lot of interest in the institutional matters. The Czech constitutional court had a public hearing yesterday and adjourned its session until Tuesday next week. It is very likely that the court will make its final decision at this time.

That means that legal unclarity will remain about the treaties when the European Council convenes tomorrow. Names and important posts will not be discussed at the summit.

Our contacts with President Klaus and the Czech government are of course intense and we hope that Prime Minister Reinfeldt will be able to propose a solution to his colleagues on Thursday and that the Czech president will sign the Lisbon Treaty as soon as possible.


Important discussions on the future EU foreign policy


At the General Affairs and External Relations Council, chaired by me and foreign minister Carl Bildt the last two days, a lot of focus has been on the institutional issues. There is an extensive work going on to settle questions around the Lisbon Treaty, in order to make it possible to implement it as fast and smooth as possible when the Czech Republic comes through with its final ratification.

One of the most important issues is the European External Action Service, the EEAS, which is to assist the High Representative in fulfilling his or her mandate. This service shall work in cooperation with the diplomatic services of the Member States and is an important piece in the establishment of a well-functioning EU foreign policy.

The ambition is to give the EU a stronger voice at the international scene, but also to make EU delegations play a supporting role regarding diplomatic and consular protection of Union citizens in third countries. A coordinated and well-functioning European cooperation on foreign policy issues will be an important tool for substantial influence, and gives us better preconditions to promote European values.


Climate discussions, President Klaus and the EU top jobs