• Germany's news in English

Merkel says Lisbon Treaty must be approved by all EU states

AFP · 19 Jun 2008, 10:49

Published: 19 Jun 2008 10:49 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"We must see to it that treaties in the European Union are developed together unanimously. There is no other way," Merkel said ahead of a two-day EU summit in Brussels.

"However difficult it may be, unanimity is essential ... Talk of a two-speed Europe, a core Europe, does not bring us forward at all," Merkel told parliament. "I think such a discussion is counter-productive and also in part negligent."

She added: "We need the Lisbon Treaty."

Irish voters plunged the EU into a new institutional crisis by voting "no" last week on the treaty which provides the legal framework for expansion of the bloc, speeds up decision-making and provides for a semi-permanent EU president as well as a more powerful foreign affairs representative.

The Irish referendum result prompted talk - fuelled by officials such as Merkel's deputy, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, among others - that a core of EU members, led by Germany and France, would press ahead with closer European integration on their own.

Germany has already ratified it and once Britain's queen adds her signature on Thursday morning the treaty will have been passed by 19 EU states. Ireland was the only country to hold a referendum.

Merkel said that the EU "cannot afford another period of reflection" of the kind that ensued after Dutch and French voters rejected in referendums in 2005 the European Constitution - the forerunner to Lisbon.

EU leaders "must make a fundamental decision as quickly as possible, so that we know in what form and what basis we will conduct the European elections in June 2009," she said.

Merkel added that it was possible for EU states to be able to opt out of certain aspects of European integration, such as monetary union, European defence policy or the Schengen Agreement on a passport-free zone.

Story continues below…

"But when it comes to institutional questions ... We need unanimity," she said. "I am convinced that we will and can find a solution."

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was due to give his assessment of the options available in Ireland at a dinner of EU leaders on Thursday evening in Brussels.

"Of course we have to listen to the Irish and we will listen to their arguments ... We should give Ireland the chance to get itself back into the game. I believe that is the best way," Merkel said.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd