Monday, 12 January 2009

Belgian EU-treaty ratification still pending?

On December 10th 2008 the Belgian campaign Notre mot à dire/Onze Zeg (1) addressed the Constitutional Court of Belgium. In a first request, they demand the cancellation of the Flemish ratification.

Notre mot à dire/Onze Zeg wants the Court to find out if this constitutional treaty can be voted by a parliament. Won’t the treaty change the constitutional position of Belgium? Has the Belgian procedure been executed properly? Are the Irish referendums a matter of discrimination towards the Belgian people? Are the opt-outs in the Treaty in conflict with the principle of equalities?

In Belgium the Royal Assent on the Lisbon Treaty has not yet been officially announced, half a year after the vote of the last regional parliament (July 10th). Browse the “Moniteur belge” here.

The Belgian ratification process requires an agreement between the federal parliament en all different regional parliaments (click here). The discussion on this decisive agreement is postponed due to the tensions between the political parties north and south of the country. It is not clear when Belgium will sort this out.

Both facts (Court and lacking Royal Assent) mean Belgium has not yet entirely finished the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, though all official EU-websites are stating that only Ireland is left.

Belgium can now be added on top of the list of countries that have problems concerning the treaty’s ratification (Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Finland). The Lisbon treaty can only go into effect after it has been ratified by all the member states.

Belgian government is misinforming the people and the other EU-members. Its “deposition of the ratification instruments” is used to cover up an unfinished ratification process. With this request Notre mot à dire/Onze Zeg intends to make clear this way of handling is not worthy of a democratic, legal state.

Notre mot à dire/Onze Zeg asks a clear and honest answer. Is the Belgian ratification finished, yes or no?

(1) Notre mot á dire/Onze Zeg is a cross-spectrum alliance of Dutch, French and German speaking democrats in the State of Belgium who want another Europe. “Our Voice”, was aiming at a democratic referendum on the EU Lisbon Treaty.

  • July 3rd 2008 a Notre mot à dire/Onze Zeg spokesperson was invited in Flemish parliament to express the campaigns vision on the lack of public debate in Belgium on the European reforms.
  • December 10th 2008 Notre mot à dire/Onze Zeg addressed Constitutional Court of Belgium ( http://www.arbitrage.be/ nr. 4572)
  • December 11th 2008 Notre mot à dire/Onze Zeg met with a member of staff of the French EU-presidency, together with a delegation of the Peoples Mouvement of Ireland. The Irish criticized the announcement of a second referendum. Notre mot à dire/Onze Zeg informed the presidency of the EU of the Belgian problems concerning the treaty.