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  1. #1
    He3 He3 is offline

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    Croatian accession treaty comes before the Oireachtas.

    About now in Committee Room 2 our representatives have reached this item on the Agenda:

    European Union Affairs CR2, LH 2000 12 noon (T) AGENDA: The Accession Treaty of the Republic of Croatia and its subsequent ratification [Mr. Neven Mimica, Chairman of the European Integration Committee of the Croatian Parliament]


    Here is a blast from the past when we were all assured of the wonderful things that would be contained in a Protocol at this point:

    17 June 2009

    H.E Mr Gordon Brown

    Prime Minister

    United Kingdom

    Dear Prime Minister,

    I am writing to you in strictest confidence ahead of tomorrow's European Council on the important subject of the legal guarantees promised to Ireland in December which my Government needs in order to be able to go back to the Irish people and seek their approval in a referendum to ratify the Lisbon Treaty.

    I would like to begin by expressing my appreciation for the constructive engagement we have had with all of our partners in recent weeks on the texts of the guarantees. I believe we are now very close to full agreement on their context.

    The second and crucial aspect of the guarantees is their precise legal form. I appreciate that the intention tomorrow is to adopt a Decision of the Heads of State and Government meeting within the European Council.

    However, in order to provide the maximum possible legal reassurance to the Irish people, I need to be able to come out of our meeting and state, without fear of contradiction, that the legal guarantees contained in the Decision will, in time, acquire full Treaty status by way of a Protocol.

    I recognise that it will not be possible to adopt this protocol before the Lisbon Treaty enters into force, as many Member States have made clear they cannot countenance having to reopen the Lisbon Treaty ratification process. However, what I do require is a clear and unequivocal commitment that, at a future point after the Lisbon Treaty enters into force, the legal guarantees contained in the Decision will be attached to the EU treaties by way of a Protocol.

    This is entirely in line with my understanding of the agreement reached at our December meeting. At that time, I made very clear that I would require this Protocol. In our concluding session, the then President of the European Council spelt out the nature of the understanding we had reached.

    Subsequently, in his Council press conference, and later when he addressed the European Parliament, the President was clear in his description of what had been agreed, including that the legal guarantees would be given Protocol status at a point after the entry into force if the Lisbon Treaty.

    The media debate in Ireland is already focussed on the form of the legal guarantees, and you will appreciate the strong political imperative that I confirm at tomorrow's meeting the public understanding in Ireland f what was agreed last December.

    I would therefore like to set out clearly what is, and is not, involved, in what I am seeking.

    The Decision we adopt tomorrow will give legal guarantee that certain matters of concern to the Irish people will be unaffected by the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. The Decision will be in full conformity with the Lisbon Treaty. It will not require any Member State to re-ratify the Lisbon Treaty, or any element of it.

    The Protocol which Ireland is seeking to have adopted at a later point will not be attached to the Lisbon Treaty, which will by then have entered into force, but to the Treaty on the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The sole purpose of this protocol will be to give Treaty force to the clarifications contained in the Decision, which are entirely in conformity with the Treaties. I want to emphasise sincerely, that this is necessary if I am to call, and win, a second referendum.

    Our common goal is to secure the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. I am asking you to give me the help I need to realise this goal.

    I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

    Yours sincerely,

    Brian Cowen TD

    Taoiseach



    In strictest confidence: The Cowen letter

    Recent press reports suggest some anxiety on the part of our current government about the fulfilment of those promises.

    Anyone know the story?
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  2. #2
    Trampas Trampas is offline

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    No doubt we will be invoking the seven-year derogation in relation to access to our labour market.
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  3. #3
    SirHorridWestBrit SirHorridWestBrit is offline

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    Hell, no. Not more of the Blighters. What does HM Government say about this? Better still the Sunday Independent?
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  4. #4
    sondagefaux sondagefaux is offline
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    Seek and ye shall find*:

    EU countries have agreed on the English text of Croatia's Accession Treaty, and it is realistic to expect it to be signed at the beginning of December, the Polish EU Presidency announced yesterday (14 September).

    A Polish diplomat told the Brussels press that Warsaw was pleased that such events had been taking place "against the mood of the crisis in Europe" and that the EU was still able to deliver "positive messages".

    He explained that the consolidated text, which is the basis for ratification by member states, will now be sent to the European Commission and the Parliament, where a final debate and a ratification vote will be held on 1 December.

    By the end of October translated versions of 300-page plus text will also be made available and sent to EU countries, where national ratification processes will also take place.

    ...

    Croatia itself will hold a referendum on its accession immediately after the signing of the accession treaty.

    ...

    The Polish diplomat also explained that post-Lisbon Treaty protocols accommodating the concerns of Ireland and the Czech Republic as a condition for their ratification of the EU's reform treaty would be ratified in parallel with Croatia's accession treaty, but would not be part of it.

    Ireland secured guarantees that nothing in the Lisbon Treaty would affect current EU rules on taxation, that the treaty "does not affect or prejudice Ireland's traditional policy of military neutrality," and that it cannot overrule an Irish constitutional ban on abortion.

    The 'Czech guarantees' addressed requests persistently made by Eurosceptic Czech President Václav Klaus, whose signature represented the last hurdle before the definitive adoption of the treaty. In particular, Prague obtained opt-outs from the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
    Croatia to sign accession treaty

    *if ye want to find...
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  5. #5
    He3 He3 is offline

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    thanks sondagefaux but having read that interesting press piece and also the link, there is no sign of the actual treaty text with the protocol.

    Can you enlighten further?

    The best they offer on the link is this -

    By the end of October translated versions of 300-page plus text will also be made available and sent to EU countries, where national ratification processes will also take place.


    A Protocol was promised. Our ratification process has begun. It seems from that link that the Oireachtas Committee is debating a treaty that it has not yet seen, but surely that cannot be right.

    Has the promise of a Protocol been fulfilled yet or not?
    Last edited by He3; 27th September 2011 at 12:41 PM.
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  6. #6
    sondagefaux sondagefaux is offline
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    You're able to read? Then read this:

    The Polish diplomat also explained that post-Lisbon Treaty protocols accommodating the concerns of Ireland and the Czech Republic as a condition for their ratification of the EU's reform treaty would be ratified in parallel with Croatia's accession treaty, but would not be part of it.
    It was helpfully highlighted for you.

    Further clarification:

    However, what I do require is a clear and unequivocal commitment that, at a future point after the Lisbon Treaty enters into force, the legal guarantees contained in the Decision will be attached to the EU treaties by way of a Protocol.
    At no point in this letter did Brian Cowen seek a commitment that such a Protocol would be attached to the Croatian Treaty of Accession.
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  7. #7
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  8. #8
    sondagefaux sondagefaux is offline
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    This is, in part, what the Heads of State/Government of the EU decided, in relation to the guarantees given to Ireland:

    (iv) they will, at the time of the conclusion of the next accession Treaty, set out the provisions of the annexed Decision in a Protocol to be attached, in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
    http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/...onclusions.pdf

    Note that it does not say that the Protocol would be attached to the next accession Treaty.

    It says that the Protocol would be attached to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union 'at the time of the of the conclusion of the next accession Treaty'.
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  9. #9
    sondagefaux sondagefaux is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by He3 View Post
    A Protocol was promised. Our ratification process has begun. It seems from that link that the Oireachtas Committee is debating a treaty that it has not yet seen, but surely that cannot be right.
    They're debating the Treaty of Accession of Croatia. Not the Protocol. The Protocol is not attached to Croatia's Treaty of Accession. The previous government did not ask for this, and this was not promised.
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  10. #10
    He3 He3 is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by sondagefaux View Post
    They're debating the Treaty of Accession of Croatia. Not the Protocol. The Protocol is not attached to Croatia's Treaty of Accession. The previous government did not ask for this, and this was not promised.
    Yes I appreciate the distinction. It is a distinction without a difference.

    Let's see the Protocol. It was to be produced at this time, and surely it cannot still be in purdah?

    And while we are looking for things to read, might it not be useful to have the Croation Accession Treaty at the start of our Oireachtas ratification deliberations, or are we happy to blather away on a treaty without seeing it and trusting that whatever is put in front of us at the last minute is grand?
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