Poland warned over EU Treaty squabble

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On the occasion of the Portuguese Presidency launch, Prime Minister José Socrates and Commission President José Manuel Barroso united to urge Poland and other member states to stick to their commitments on the EU Reform Treaty, as nationalist Polish politicians vowed to undermine it.

Polish nationalist politicians rallied in their opposition to the new Treaty on 2 July, which may endanger a swift agreement on a new EU Treaty at an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), about to start on 23 July.

Roman Giertych, leader of a government coalition party, the League of Polish Families, announced that he would strive to undermine the Treaty. “We will start a campaign against the Treaty because, thanks to Germany, it includes amendments that are putting EU interests ahead of Poland’s interests,” the nationalist leader told reporters on 2 July.

Meeting with the Portuguese prime minister in Porto on 2 July, Commission President José Manuel Barroso had urged for a compromise at this “very crucial moment for Europe. We cannot allow matters to be re-opened on which agreement has already been reached,” he said.

Prime Minister José Socrates added: “The Portuguese presidency has received a mandate to produce a new Treaty, and in the mandate it does not say by the way, you can revise the mandate. I do not think it makes any sense nor do I see any country that wants to question it.”

The Portuguese Presidency wants to open the IGC, which will finalise the new EU Treaty, on 23 July. Heads of states and governments are due to give their blessing to the text when they get together at an informal meeting on 18-19 October.

However, Portuguese hopes of having an IGC swiftly agreeing to a text were put at risk when last week Poland voiced its wish to open up certain elements of the institutional deal struck on 21-22 June.

The key priorities of the Portuguese Presidency are the opening of the IGC to decide on the new EU Treaty, as well as the relaunch the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs, control of illegal immigration and enlargement of the Schengen area.

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