June 14, 2008

Luxembourg’s PM Hopes for EU Solution Following Irish Vote

Text of report by independent German news agency ddp

Cologne (ddp) - Even after the "no" vote of the Irish on the EU reform treaty of Lisbon, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker argues for continuing the ratification process. The heads of government agree on this, Juncker said on Saturday [14 June] on Deutschlandfunk.

He would prefer to find a way out with "our Irish friends and colleagues" that would make it possible to have the treaty come into effect at some time. If this is not achieved, then greater cooperation with those willing to integrate would have to be sought on the basis of the current Nice Treaty.

The Irish themselves must decide whether they should be called to the polls once again, Juncker said. Producing a new treaty is only possible "under very difficult circumstances." He also considers an entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty without the Irish to be a "very difficult undertaking" from the legal standpoint.

EU Industry Commissioner and deputy Commission head Guenter Verheugen also told the same broadcaster he does not believe that a treaty excluding Ireland would be a solution. This would not only be very difficult legally, but "also almost impossible politically." The "house rules" must apply to everyone, he said, adding there is no other possibility than to find a solution together.

Originally published by ddp news agency, Berlin, in German 0658 14 Jun 08.

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