The Portuguese EU Presidency has vowed to stick a hard-won June agreement to draft an EU Reform Treaty, amid concerns that Poland might ask to reopen discussions on voting rights in the Council.
Presenting the Portuguese Presidency’s programme to the European Parliament on 11 July, Prime Minister José Socrates underlined that agreeing on a new EU Treaty text by mid-October was his top priority. Socrates was keen to emphasise that he does not want any further changes to the current IGC mandate, in particular alluding to Poland’s desire to reopen parts of the deal that was clinched in June.
“The agreement reached at the European Council gives a clear and precise mandate. We are now in a position to move forward. One thing is clear to me. Our mandate is not to change the mandate, but to turn the mandate into a Treaty,” Socrates stated before the Parliament.
Speaking at a press conference, he added: “I don’t expect any problems from any member state, especially Poland. I expect full commitment from everyone to get a new Treaty as soon as possible.”
Socrates was backed by Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who said: “It is inconceivable that an agreement that was achieved unanimously should be reopened.”
Socrates said: “I move forward with confidence and hope. And that confidence flows from the knowledge that the key institutions, the key political players, are of one mind in terms of setting up an ambitious but realistic programme, which will seek to endow Europe with a better capacity to act.”
A first draft Treaty based on the IGC mandate will be circulated by the Portuguese Presidency on 23 July, when the IGC opens. Portugal is favourable to having a ‘Lisbon Treaty’ coming from the IGC.
The Parliament gave the go-ahead for the opening of the IGC in a plenary vote on 11 July 2007.