"Without the Lisbon Treaty, there will be no enlargement of Europe," the French President said, insisting that "there will be no other treaty" to replace the text agreed after drawn out negotiations one year ago.
The ratification process has been stalled in the Czech Republic, where the Constitutional Court is analysing the treaty at the request of the right-wing Civic Democratic Party (ODS) of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and eurosceptic President Vaclav Klaus. A decision is expected by September or October this year. But Sarkozy is attempting to raise the pressure on Topolanek, who supports further expansion of the EU to Croatia and the Western Balkans, by making it clear that France would veto any further EU enlargement if the treaty is not adopted.
"I would find very odd that the 27 [EU member states] find it difficult to agree on institutions that work but succeed in adding a 28th, 29th or 30th member," Sarkozy said, declaring himself to be "among those who thought there should have been a reform of the institutions" before enlarging the EU to ten new members in 2004.
Moreover, he said reverting to the current Treaty of Nice will make it "very difficult to organise" the European elections in June 2009. This is because the allocation of seats in Parliament has already been distributed according to the Lisbon Treaty and reverting to the Nice Treaty will mean having to reorganise them, a process which typically involves lengthy negotiations between member states.
Sarkozy’s tough line on enlargement is controversial among other EU countries, however. Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday night, Janez Janša, the Slovenian Prime Minister chairing the summit, said "further accession should not be a victim of the treaty". Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Sarkozy's comments were "unacceptable".
There are currently three candidates for EU accession: Croatia, Turkey and Macedonia. Bosnia, Serbia, Albania and Montenegro also aspire to EU membership but have not yet become official candidates.