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Thread: Two Other European Treaties in 2012

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    Default Two Other European Treaties in 2012

    Apart from the proposed fiscal treaty, there are two other treaties (in the form of Protocols) which are proposed for 2012.

    The first is the Protocol on the concerns of the Irish people on the Lisbon Treaty (full text and link below) which aims to give EU treaty status to the guarantees secured by the previous Irish government in advance of the second referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon.

    The second is the Protocol on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to the Czech Republic which was drafted after President Václav Klaus said it was necessary to enable him to sign the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon.

    As both Protocols will be additions to the existing EU treaties, legally speaking, both are treaties which propose to amend the existing EU treaties, as the Treaty of Lisbon, Treaty of Nice etc were.

    Protocols to EU treaties are an 'integral part' of the treaties:

    Article 51
    The Protocols and Annexes to the Treaties shall form an integral part thereof.
    As such, the Protocols have to be added to the existing EU treaties in accordance with the procedures set out for amending the EU treaties in Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union.

    This means that both Protocols will have to be ratified by all EU member states in accordance with their constitutional requirements.

    The ratification process is under way and it is hoped that both Protocols will be added before Croatia formally joins the EU in July 2013.

    However, the ratification of the protocols is not dependent on a Yes vote in Sunday's referendum on EU accession in Croatia.

    PROTOCOL (….) ON THE CONCERNS OF THE IRISH PEOPLE ON THE TREATY OF LISBON
    THE KINGDOM OF BELGIUM,
    THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA,
    THE CZECH REPUBLIC,
    THE KINGDOM OF DENMARK,
    THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY,
    THE REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA,
    IRELAND,
    THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC,
    THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN,
    THE FRENCH REPUBLIC,
    THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC,
    THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS,
    THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA,
    THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA,
    THE GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG,
    THE REPUBLIC OF HUNGARY,
    MALTA,
    THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS,
    THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA,
    THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND,
    THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC,
    ROMANIA,
    THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA,
    THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC,
    THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND,
    THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN,
    THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND,

    hereinafter referred to as "THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES",

    RECALLING the Decision of the Heads of State or Government of the 27 Member States of the
    European Union, meeting within the European Council, on 18/19 June 2009, on the concerns of the
    Irish people on the Treaty of Lisbon;
    RECALLING the declaration of the Heads of State or Government, meeting within the European
    Council, on 18/19 June 2009, that they will, at the time of the conclusion of the next Accession
    Treaty, set out the provisions of the aforementioned 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;
    [NOTING the signature by the High Contracting Parties of the Treaty between the High Contracting
    Parties and the Republic of Croatia concerning the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the
    European Union;]

    HAVE AGREED UPON the following provisions, which shall be annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union:

    TITLE I
    RIGHT TO LIFE, FAMILY AND EDUCATION
    Article 1
    Nothing in the Treaty of Lisbon attributing legal status to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, or in the provisions of that Treaty in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice affects in any way the scope and applicability of the protection of the right to life in Article 40.3.1, 40.3.2 and 40.3.3, the protection of the family in Article 41 and the protection of the rights in respect of education in Articles 42 and 44.2.4 and 44.2.5 provided by the Constitution of Ireland.

    TITLE II
    TAXATION
    Article 2
    Nothing in the Treaty of Lisbon makes any change of any kind, for any Member State, to the extent or operation of the competence of the European Union in relation to taxation.

    TITLE III
    SECURITY AND DEFENCE
    Article 3
    The Union's action on the international scene is guided by the principles of democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.

    The Union's common security and defence policy is an integral part of the common foreign and security policy and provides the Union with an operational capacity to undertake missions outside the Union for peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

    It does not prejudice the security and defence policy of each Member State, including Ireland, or the obligations of any Member State.

    The Treaty of Lisbon does not affect or prejudice Ireland's traditional policy of military neutrality.

    It will be for Member States - including Ireland, acting in a spirit of solidarity and without prejudice to its traditional policy of military neutrality - to determine the nature of aid or assistance to be provided to a Member State which is the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of armed aggression on its territory.

    Any decision to move to a common defence will require a unanimous decision of the European Council. It would be a matter for the Member States, including Ireland, to decide, in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon and with their respective constitutional requirements, whether or not to adopt a common defence.

    Nothing in this Title affects or prejudices the position or policy of any other Member State on security and defence.

    It is also a matter for each Member State to decide, in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon and any domestic legal requirements, whether to participate in permanent structured cooperation or the European Defence Agency.

    The Treaty of Lisbon does not provide for the creation of a European army or for conscription to any military formation.

    It does not affect the right of Ireland or any other Member State to determine the nature and volume of its defence and security expenditure and the nature of its defence capabilities.

    It will be a matter for Ireland or any other Member State, to decide, in accordance with any domestic legal requirements, whether or not to participate in any military operation.

    TITLE IV
    FINAL PROVISIONS
    Article 4
    This Protocol shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties, in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Government of the Italian Republic.

    This Protocol shall enter into force if possible on [……….], provided that all the instruments of ratification have been deposited, or, failing that, on the first day of the month following the deposit of the instrument of ratification by the last signatory State to take this step.

    Article 5
    This Protocol, drawn up in a single original in the Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish languages, each text being equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of the Italian Republic, which shall transmit a certified copy to each of the governments of the other signatory States.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned Plenipotentiaries have signed this Protocol.

    Done at … this day of …. in the year ….
    http://register.consilium.europa.eu/...13181.en11.pdf

    The text of the Protocol on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to the Czech Republic applies the provisions of the the existing Protocol 30, which applies identical provisions to Poland and the UK, to the Czech Republic:

    The Heads of State or Government of the 27 Member States of the European Union, taking note of the wish expressed by the Czech Republic,

    Having regard to the Conclusions of the European Council,

    Have agreed on the following Protocol:

    Article 1
    Protocol No 30 on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to Poland and to the United Kingdom shall apply to the Czech Republic.

    Article 2
    The Title, Preamble and operative part of Protocol No 30 shall be modified in order to refer to the Czech Republic in the same terms as they refer to Poland and to the United Kingdom.

    Article 3
    This Protocol shall be annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
    Source: www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN05214.pdf

    The text of Protocol 30 can be read on pages 113 to 115 of this link:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...01:0328:EN:PDF

    A brief outline of the Protocols and their potential implications is set out here:

    House of Commons - Documents considered by the Committee on 14 December 2011 - European Scrutiny Committee
    Last edited by sondagefaux; 21st January 2012 at 04:59 AM.
    Mark Murray.

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    Politics.ie Member sondagefaux's Avatar
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    The European Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) considered these Protocols yesterday (25 Jan 2012) and today (26 Jan):

    AFCO - Committee on Constitutional Affairs
    09:00/12:30
    AFCO
    Wed, 25 Jan 2012 15:00 - 16:00
    1.0 Ouverture de la réunion sous la Présidence du député exerçant provisoirement la présidence
    2.0 Election du Président
    3.0 Election des Vice-présidents
    * * *
    4.0 Adoption of agenda
    5.0 Chair’s announcements
    6.0 Approval of minutes of meeting of: (PE478.374)
    7.0 (AFCO/7/07649) Draft Protocol on the concerns of the Irish people on the Treaty of Lisbon (Consultation)
    8.0 (AFCO/7/07653) Draft Protocol on the concerns of the Irish people on the Treaty of Lisbon (Consent)

    Wed, 25 Jan 2012 16:00 - 17:30
    9.0 (AFCO/7/00030) Presidency in office of the Council
    * * *
    Wed, 25 Jan 2012 17:30 - 18:30
    In camera
    10.0 Coordinators’ meeting
    * * *
    Thu, 26 Jan 2012 09:00 - 10:00
    11.0 (AFCO/7/08290) Draft International Agreement on a Reinforced Economic Union
    Thu, 26 Jan 2012 10:00 - 10:30
    *** Voting time ***
    12.0 (AFCO/7/06521) Modification of the Act concerning the election of the Members of the European Parliament
    13.0 (AFCO/7/07564) Draft protocol on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on the Czech Republic (consultation)
    14.0 (AFCO/7/07578) Draft protocol on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on the Czech Republic (approval)

    *** End of vote ***
    Thu, 26 Jan 2012 10:30 - 11:30
    15.0 (AFCO/7/06777) European Year of Citizens (2013)
    16.0 (AFCO/7/05799) Amendment of the Rules of Procedure to take into account the changing relationships between the European Parliament and the institutions representing the national governments following entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty
    Thu, 26 Jan 2012 11:30 - 12:30
    17.0 (AFCO/7/06899) Amendment of the European Parliament Regulation implementing the European Citizens’ Initiative
    * * *
    18.0 Any other business
    19.0 Next meeting(s) (AFCO(2012)0227_1) Mon, 27 Feb 2012
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-liv...edule/schedule

    The committee was evenly divided (11 votes against, 11 votes for) on a vote to accept Andrew Duff's (Lib Dem MEP) recommendation that the European Parliament should support a resolution that the Czech Protocol not be added to the existing EU treaties.

    Legally speaking, this means the European Parliament will express no opinion, and the impasse in the Committee vote will not affect ratification.

    The main obstacle to ratification of the Czech Protocol seems to be the Czech parliament (at least according to Andrew Duff), which seems to be unhappy with the Protocol.

    The Czech Protocol was drafted at the demand of Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, who would have refused to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon otherwise.

    It seems that the Czech parliament, which elects the Czech President, is in disagreement with Klaus about the necessity or desirability of adding the proposed protocol to the EU treaties:

    Having spoken to Members of the Czech Parliament and Czech Constitutional Court, Mr Duff points out that there is considerable opposition in the Czech Republic to continuing to promote the idea of a Czech exception to the Charter, and that there are doubts as to whether the current Czech Parliament would in the event be willing to ratify the Czech Protocol. He also points out that there have been no problems in the Czech Republic caused by the mandatory force of the Charter in the more than two years since the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty.
    Parliament Asked To Reject New Czech Protocol To Lisbon Treaty On Charter Of Fundamental Rights (Andrew Duff MEP)

    Irish Protocol.

    A draft report on the Protocol on the concerns of the Irish people on the Lisbon Treaty was presented to the Committee yesterday (25 Jan).

    The report will be voted on by the Committee at a forthcoming meeting on 28 February:

    6. Draft protocol on the concerns of the Irish people on the Lisbon Treaty
    AFCO/7/07653
    *** 2011/0816(NLE) – 00092/2011[02] – C7-0388/2011

    Rapporteur: Íñigo Méndez de Vigo (PPE)

    The committee held a joint exchange of views on items 5 and 6.

    The rapporteur, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, introduced the discussion topic and outlined his position.

    In addition to the Chair, the following spoke: Andrew Duff, David Martin, Andrew Henry William Brons.

    Íñigo Méndez de Vigo answered members' questions and wound up the discussion.

    The draft report [was] presented at the meeting on 25 January 2012.

    The vote [will] be taken at the meeting on 28 February 2012.
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdo...3/885623en.pdf

    These votes in the European Parliament are essentially consultative, as the Protocols are due to be ratified using the Simplified Revision Procedure:

    Simplified revision procedure
    Proposals to amend Part three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union are submitted by a Member State, the European Parliament or the European Commission to the Council of Ministers who, in turn, submit them to the European Council and notify member states. Proposed amendments cannot increase the competences of the Union.

    The European Council, after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission, votes to adopt a decision amending Part three on the basis of the proposals by unanimity.

    All member states must approve the decision "in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements", if it is to come into force.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_...icle_48_TEU.29

    Article 48
    (ex Article 48 TEU)
    1. The Treaties may be amended in accordance with an ordinary revision procedure. They may also be amended in accordance with simplified revision procedures.

    ...

    6. The Government of any Member State, the European Parliament or the Commission may submit to the European Council proposals for revising all or part of the provisions of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union relating to the internal policies and action of the Union.

    The European Council may adopt a decision amending all or part of the provisions of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The European Council shall act by unanimity after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission, and the European Central Bank in the case of institutional changes in the monetary area. That decision shall not enter into force until it is approved by the Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

    The decision referred to in the second subparagraph shall not increase the competences conferred on the Union in the Treaties.
    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...13:0045:EN:PDF

    After the AFOC meeting on 27/28 February, the next scheduled events in the European Parliament are votes in plenary session of the European Parliament, on 14 February (Czech Protocol) and 28 March (Irish Protocol).

    Generally speaking, this will involve voting on whether to accept or reject the proposal of the AFOC committee, and, most likely, a vote on adopting resolutions, which will either support or reject the addition of the Protocols to the EU treaties.

    A third option is that the European Parliament will decide to express no opinion on the Protocols, as the AFOC Committee has already done in respect to the Czech Protocol.

    However, even if the European Parliament votes to reject the proposed Protocols, the European Council (elected heads of state/government) is not bound by its decision and the ratification process can continue.

    After March, the next steps in the ratification process will be a decision in the European Council on whether or not to proceed with the addition of the Protocols to the EU treaties.

    Assuming the European Council decides in favour, the existing member states of the EU must then ratify the Protocols in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

    As is normal practice in Ireland, the Attorney General will assess the proposals and advise the government on whether or not the proposals require a constitutional amendment (i.e. ratification by referendum).

    If the Irish government decides to ratify the Protocols without a referendum, the decision can be challenged in the Supreme Court, which has the final say.
    Last edited by sondagefaux; 26th January 2012 at 11:46 PM.
    Mark Murray.

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    The vote in plenary session of the European Parliament on the Draft protocol on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on the Czech Republic, which was originally scheduled to take place today, has been put back until 22nd May:

    Procedure File: 2011/0818(NLE)

    So far, there's been no change to the forecast schedule for the votes on the 'Irish Protocol'.
    Mark Murray.

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    The funny thing about the "protocol" for the Czech Republic is that it flies in the face of those who claimed that Lisbon could not be renegotiated. Why couldn't we get an opt-out from the charter? It would have softened my opposition to Lisbon considerably.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverSpurs View Post
    The funny thing about the "protocol" for the Czech Republic is that it flies in the face of those who claimed that Lisbon could not be renegotiated. Why couldn't we get an opt-out from the charter? It would have softened my opposition to Lisbon considerably.
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverSpurs View Post
    The funny thing about the "protocol" for the Czech Republic is that it flies in the face of those who claimed that Lisbon could not be renegotiated. Why couldn't we get an opt-out from the charter? It would have softened my opposition to Lisbon considerably.
    When is an opt-out not an opt-out?

    Lastly, Article 2 of Protocol No 30 TEU provides that:

    “To the extent that a provision of the Charter refers to national laws and practices, it shall only apply to Poland or the United Kingdom to the extent that the rights or principles that it contains are recognised in the law or practices of Poland or of the United Kingdom.”

    This is, however, arguably stating no more than the obvious, and should have no limiting effect on the interpretation and application of the Charter’s provisions.
    Is the UK



    The Protocol is not an opt-out from the Charter. The Charter will apply in the UK, even if its interpretation may be affected by the terms of the Protocol.

    ...

    Indeed, given that, despite media reports, it is an interpretative Protocol rather than an opt-out, it is perhaps a matter of regret, and even a source of potential confusion, that it was not expressed to apply to all Member States.
    http://www.publications.parliament.u...ucom/62/62.pdf (p.102 - p.106)

    Note that the Czech 'opt-out' will be applied in the same way as the UK and Polish 'opt-outs'.
    Mark Murray.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sondagefaux View Post
    The first is the Protocol on the concerns of the Irish people on the Lisbon Treaty (full text and link below) which aims to give EU treaty status to the guarantees secured by the previous Irish government in advance of the second referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon.
    Fair play for all your effort.

    Biut is the above not being included as part of the Croatian Accession Treaty?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacCoise2 View Post
    Fair play for all your effort.

    Biut is the above not being included as part of the Croatian Accession Treaty?
    No. The Protocols are stand alone.

    They are not incorporated into the Croatian accession treaty (http://register.consilium.europa.eu/...14409.en11.pdf).

    Whether they are adopted or not does not depend on whether Croatia ultimately joins the EU or not.
    Mark Murray.

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    wrong thread

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    Latest update on the 'Irish' Protocol. The Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has issued draft reports consenting to the addition of the Protocol to the existing EU treaties without calling a constitutional convention, and expressing a positive decision in favour of the addition of the Protocol to the existing EU treaties.

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/...EN&language=EN

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/...EN&language=EN

    These draft reports can (theoretically) be amended up to 6th March 2012, which is the final date on which amendments to the reports can be proposed.

    Assuming there are no amendments proposed, the reports will be presented as they are to a plenary session of the European Parliament which will debate the reports and either approve or reject them.

    The latest scheduled date for the discussion of these reports in plenary session is 18th April 2012 (ParlTrack).
    Mark Murray.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sondagefaux View Post
    Latest update on the 'Irish' Protocol. The Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has issued draft reports consenting to the addition of the Protocol to the existing EU treaties without calling a constitutional convention, and expressing a positive decision in favour of the addition of the Protocol to the existing EU treaties.

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/...EN&language=EN

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/...EN&language=EN

    These draft reports can (theoretically) be amended up to 6th March 2012, which is the final date on which amendments to the reports can be proposed.

    Assuming there are no amendments proposed, the reports will be presented as they are to a plenary session of the European Parliament which will debate the reports and either approve or reject them.

    The latest scheduled date for the discussion of these reports in plenary session is 18th April 2012 (ParlTrack).
    The Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of accepting the report on the 'Irish' Protocol:

    Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP has today welcomed the decision by the European Parliament's constitutional affairs committee to support the protocol on the concerns of the Irish people in relation to the Treaty of Lisbon.

    The protocol is a separate legal instrument covering issues including the right to life, family and education, taxation and security and defence.

    Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP said today "I welcome today's decision by the constitutional affairs committee, which adheres to the express wishes of the Irish people. The protocol clearly states that the provisions within the Irish constitution on the right to life and family are not affected by the Lisbon Treaty. The protocol recognises the competence of Member States concerning taxation. This is important due to the ongoing debate on corporation tax matters. Furthermore, Ireland's traditional policy of military neutrality is protected by the protocol."

    The protocol will be ratified by all EU Member States when Croatia enters the European Union on 01 July 2013. The European Parliament must provide its consent for the protocol to become legally binding. The Plenary of the European Parliament will vote on the protocol during the April session in Strasbourg. The result of today's vote in the constitutional affairs committee was 21 in favour with one abstention., and has now been scheduled to be presented to the European Parliament in plenary session on 18th April 2012.
    noodls® › gateway to facts | MEP Gallagher welcomes EP support for Ireland’s protocol to the Lisbon Treaty

    Next step is a vote on the Report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs on 18th April, in plenary session of the European Parliament, followed by ratification by the EU member-states in accordance with their constitutional requirements.
    Mark Murray.

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