Svetoslav Apostolov's blog

The Treaty of Lisbon Deceit

In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

George Orwell

In my entry “The EU institutions’ hypocritical fight against climate change” I already raised the issue of the integrity of the Commission of the European Communities (alias the European Commission, EC). This entry puts a start to a series of examples of the European Commission’s attempts to deceive the European citizens which, not to forget, are its sovereign.

As the first example I will use the European Commission’s website on the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community.

The European Commission has published a map representing the status of ratification of the treaty in the Member States (Figure 1 a) below is a reproduction of the said map). The map shows all Member States besides the Republic of Ireland (which rejected the Treaty of Lisbon in a national referendum) as having “approved” the treaty.

Figure 1. Status of ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon:
a) as (mis)represented by the European Commission,
b) real ratification status
(Source: a) European Commission: Treaty of Lisbon website,
b) adapted from European Commission: Treaty of Lisbon website).

By referring to countries “where the Treaty has been approved” as opposed to countries “where ratification is still in progress” and those “which have voted against the Treaty” in the map’s legend, the EC equates the term “approved” with “completed ratification process”. However, the only formal approval mechanism foreseen by the Treaty itself in order to come into force is the deposing of the respective ratification instruments with the Government of the Italian Republic following the Treaty’s ratification by all Member States:

1. This Treaty shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Government of the Italian Republic.

2. This Treaty shall enter into force on 1 January 2009, provided that all the instruments of ratification have been deposited, or, failing that, on the first day of the month following the deposit of the instrument of ratification by the last signatory State to take this step.

(Article 6 of the Treaty of Lisbon, Conference of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States 2007)

In that relation it should be emphasized that the treaty ratification process is still not finalized by three other Member States:

1) the Federal Republic of Germany, where the Federal Constitutional Court recently admitted the Treaty but obliged the federal government not to deposit the “instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon … as long as the constitutionally required legal elaboration of the parliamentary rights of participation has not entered into force” (Bundesverfassungsgericht 2009). The required legislation is still not in force at the time of preparation of this publication.

2) the Czech Republic and the Republic of Poland, where the Treaty’s respective instruments of ratification are still not signed by the Presidents, which have declared that they will sign only if Ireland supports the treaty on its second referendum (Deutsche Welle 2009, Economist 2009, Runner 2008).

I immediately informed the European Commission and the presidents of Germany and Poland (at that time the map still showed the Czech Republic as a country “where ratification is still in progress”) of the discovered contradiction in order to correct the mistake on the map (Apostolov 2008).

In its reply, the Office of the Federal President confirmed that Germany had not yet ratified the Treaty of Lisbon and that thus “… the map … is incorrect” (Bundespresidialamt 2009). Following the Office’s recommendation, I contacted again the EC’s respective service on the subject of correcting the map.

The European Commission, however, replied with the following wishy-washy explanation:

… the map available on the website aims at indicating … which Member States have already approved the Lisbon Treaty and which Member States have not yet approved or have rejected the new Treaty. The green color indicates which Member States have approved the Treaty (either through a parliamentary or a referendum procedure) and not the Member States which have formally completed the ratification procedure.

(Europe Direct 2008)

The Commission not only didn’t correct the map to properly present the ratification status of the Treaty of Lisbon but some time later even marked the Czech Republic as having “approved” the Treaty despite the Czech President’s refusal to sign the instrument of ratification.

As already outlined, the only formal approval mechanism of the Treaty is its ratification by a Member State followed by the deposing of the ratification instrument with the Italian government. Therefore, the EC’s map is a clear case of misrepresentation of the treaty’s ratification status. I claim that by deliberately misrepresenting the Treaty’s status, the European Commission attempts to mislead the public in believing that the Republic of Ireland is the only Member State that has not ratified the Treaty of Lisbon.

The correct ratification status of the Treaty of Lisbon is presented in Figure 1 b) above. A look into the data for the four Member States where the Treaty has not been ratified yet reveals that as of today the Treaty is not formally approved in about 19% of the territory of the European Community which includes more than 27% of the entire Community population.

REFERENCES:

Apostolov, S. 2008. Error on the map representing the ratification status of the Treaty of Lisbon.

Available online: http://spapostolov.blogactiv.eu/files/2009/08/apostolov_error_lisbon_treaty_map.pdf (site last accessed on 21.08.2009).

Bundespresidialamt. 2009. 16-029 04-4-24/07 Reply to “Error on the map representing the ratification status of the Treaty of Lisbon”.

Available online: http://spapostolov.blogactiv.eu/files/2009/08/bundespresidialamt-re-apostolov_error_lisbon_treaty_map.pdf (site last accessed on 21.08.2009).

Bundesverfassungsgericht. 2009. Pronouncement of a judgement in the matter of the Treaty of Lisbon. Press Release Nr. 55/2009 of 29 May 2009. [Urteilsverkündung in Sachen „Lissabon-Vertrag“. Pressemitteilung Nr. 55/2009 vom 29. Mai 2009]. [online]

URL: http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/pressemitteilungen/bvg09-055.html (site last accessed on 01.06.2009).

Conference of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States. 2007. Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community. Official Journal of the European Union C 306, p. 1.

Available online:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOIndex.do?year=2007&serie=C&textfield2=306&Submit=Search&ihmlang=en (site last accessed on 21.01.2009).

Deutsche Welle. 2009. Czech president claims Ireland concessions change Lisbon Treaty. [online]

URL: http://www.deutsche-welle.de/dw/article/0,,4411029,00.html (site last accessed on 19.08.2009).

Economist. 2009. The awkward squad: Why the Polish and Czech presidents drag their feet over the Lisbon treaty. [online]

URL: http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14098451 (site last accessed on 19.08.2009).

Europe Direct. 2008. EN-99470-18 Reply to “Error on the map representing the ratification status of the Treaty of Lisbon”.

Available online: http://spapostolov.blogactiv.eu/files/2009/08/ed-re-apostolov_error_lisbon_treaty_map.pdf (site last accessed on 21.08.2009).

European Commission: Treaty of Lisbon website: http://europa.eu/lisbon_treaty/index_en.htm (site last accessed on 19.08.2009)

Runner, P. 2008. Polish president declines to sign EU treaty. EUobserver.com. [online]

URL: http://euobserver.com/9/26424 (site last accessed on 19.08.2009).

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