PM: EU summit in Lisbon a huge success for Poland 2007-10-19 21:03:17   Print

    WARSAW, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The EU summit in Lisbon is a huge success for Poland, Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Friday.

    Poland secured itself the status of a big state, he stressed.

    Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who is attending the two-day EU summit in Lisbon, said Thursday night that Poland got what it wanted at the EU summit in Lisbon, Polish PAP news agency reported.

    "Basically Poland got what it wanted," he said, "The whole operation of the EU Reform Treaty is now crowned with success."

    On Friday, the EU leaders endorsed the treaty to replace the European Constitution which was rejected by Dutch and French voters in referenda in 2005.

    The new treaty will be signed on Dec. 13 in Lisbon by the EU leaders. If ratified by all 27 member states, the treaty will come into force in 2009.

    President Kaczynski identified Poland's main success as it won a guarantee that a provision allowing small groups of states to delay EU decisions could only be overturned by unanimity.

    "No change can be made without Poland's consent," the president said.

    The so-called Ioannina mechanism, a compromise version of which enables groups of countries to delay a decision for a "reasonable time," was written into the new treaty, claiming the double majority voting system envisaged in the treaty would give bigger member states more leverage than before.

    The president said "a reasonable time does not mean three months, it can mean years."

    The double majority voting system requires at least 55 percent of the number of member states representing 65 percent of the EU's total population to make a decision at the Council of the EU, a decision-making body composed of member states' ministers.

    Under a compromised arrangement, though there will be no Ioannina clause in the treaty, the European Council, composed of 27 EU leaders, will adopt a declaration on the substance of the Ioannina mechanism, making it legally binding.

    In addition, the declaration will be attached with a protocol, which requires consensus in any change to the Ioannina mechanism.

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Editor: Bi Mingxin
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