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Nov 222008

wohlin_lissabon_ny.gifSwedish MEP Lars Wohlin, first founding member of the anti-EU “June List”, then “Christian Democrat”, now “Conservative” (?)  in an advertising campaign in the leading Swedish newspapers, today (22/11),  urges us not to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. Sorry Lars, a waste of money, it’s already done.

Lars’ speciality is the difference between the short and long-term interest rates which, as we all  know, is the source of all sorts of evil. Also he is of the opinion that the EU should not bother about various things. In most of his speeches in the Parliament he is trying to explain why he doesn’t want to vote. Unfortunately it is not very likely that the next EP will provide a platform for this profund wisdom since no party is likely to include Lars on their list. A pity, really, since it might mean his return to domestic politics.

Nov 212008

Against our expectations the Parliament approved the proposal to ratify the Treaty with 243 yes, 39 against, 13 abstentions and 54 absent (!). We will come back to some very interesting results of the voting. (For Swedish speaking readers information on the voting of the individual parliamentarians is available here. Point 9, click on “Visa ledamöternas röster”.) There will be reasons for coming back to this, for the moment we only note that those members of the government parties who had announced their opposition to the proposal apparently lost their courage since only one of them actually voted “no” whereas others abstained or were conveniently absent. With a somewhat wry smile we note that Marita Ulvskog, designated top Continue reading »

Nov 182008

Tomorrow (19/11) On Thursday (20/11) the Swedish Parliament will vote on the Treaty of Lisbon. In our previous post we have expressed some doubt as to the outcome, everyone else, however, seems to regard the approval as a foregone conclusion.

We have seen many articles and blog posts lately about how the financial crisis tends to rally countries -members or not- to the EU and the Euro.  Ironically, in cases such as Poland, Hungary, Lithuania and Iceland this comes at a time when they are further from meeting the criteria of eligibility to the Eurozone than in a long time. Leading Austrian newspaper Die Presse carries an article with a heading that can be translated as The Crisis Forces Sceptics to the EU (DE). According to the article, Ireland may say “yes” in a new referendum provided they are guaranteed a Commissioner. Iceland, still according to Die Presse, will apply for membership in 2009 with the aim of becoming a member in 2011. The Danish Premier has Continue reading »

Nov 142008

Sweden is one of the very few countries which have not yet ratified the Treaty of Lisbon. It is debatable how many there are with Poland’s obstructing -but basically powerless- President and the decision of the German Constitutional Court still outstanding. But it seems reasonable to conclude that Sweden and the Czech Republic are the only real laggards – Ireland obviously always excepted. Unfortunately those are also the two countries that will assume the EU Presidency in 2009. Difficulties are compounded by the fact that neither country belongs to the Eurozone.

Normally the Swedish Parliament would vote on the Treaty on November 20. The Treaty has already been approved by the Foreign Policy Committee.  On paper, there would be a solid majority with the four Government parties and the Social Democratic opposition in favor of the ratification. However, things are not that simple, by far  (SW).

First, 41 members of the Green and the Left Party will vote against ratification. In addition a  mini-rebellion has broken Continue reading »