14. 5. 200916:06

PR:Czech Minister for European Affairs, Štefan Füle, and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs meet in Dublin

The Czech Minister for European Affairs, Štefan Füle, and the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD, met in Dublin to discuss the legal guarantees relating to the Lisbon Treaty, the current international economic situation, and preparations for the Copenhagen Conference on climate change.
In a joint statement, the two Ministers said:
“Today’s meeting offered a timely opportunity to take stock of progress on the package of legal measures on the Lisbon Treaty promised to Ireland by the European Council at its meeting in December.
We have agreed to work together intensively in the coming weeks in order to finalise the legal guarantees for Ireland. We have a shared determination to look for agreement on these guarantees at the June European Council. We see it as important to abide by the conclusions of the December European Council which envisaged a final decision being taken at next month’s meeting.”
Minister Martin said that Ireland had received “a very positive response from our fellow EU members to the concerns that emerged at the time of our referendum last year. I am confident that we will succeed in finalising these guarantees in the weeks ahead and look forward to working closely with the Czech Presidency to secure this positive outcome.
Minister Füle assured his Irish counterpart that “the Czech Presidency stands fully behind the Irish government in its efforts to finalise the guarantees for the Irish people. It is not only in the interests of Ireland but of the whole of Europe that the Irish people are provided with guarantees they feel are important for them. I am glad that we have agreed today on our coordination for the coming weeks. I am confident that we will be able to secure agreement on guarantees by 27 EU member states at the June summit.”
Minister Martin added:
“We are determined to spare no effort in ensuring that the concerns of the Irish people on Lisbon are fully addressed. It is very much in Ireland’s national interest, particularly in the current economic climate, that there should be no doubt whatsoever about our commitment to remaining at the heart of Europe. The Government is absolutely convinced that it is vital that any uncertainty in this regard be removed. Ratification of Lisbon is vital for us in securing our position as a positive and constructive member of the Union.”

Note for editors:
Štefan Füle, Minister for European Affairs of the Czech Republic, is visiting Ireland ahead of the European Council in Brussels on 18/19 June. The Czech Republic currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
During his visit, Mr Füle will meet the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin, TD, and the Minister of State for European Affairs, Dick Roche, TD
The Government has been working with the other Member States of the EU and the EU institutions, to give legal form to a package of decisions taken by the European Council in December in order to meet the concerns of the Irish people in respect of the Treaty of Lisbon.
These include the right of each Member State to nominate a Commissioner and guarantees of Ireland’s right to take its own decisions and make its own laws in relation to taxation, defence and certain provisions of our Constitution in relation to the right to life, education and family. The European Council also agreed to confirm the high importance the EU attaches to issues including workers’ rights and social services.
These elements, when finalised, will represent a comprehensive package of measures specifically designed to address the key concerns of the Irish electorate in relation to the Lisbon Treaty.
The conclusions of the December European Council state that work on the guarantees should be concluded no later than mid-2009. If the Government are fully satisfied with the outcome of this work, it will seek ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, by way of a further referendum before the end of the term of the current Commission, which is due to leave office at the end of October.
No decision can be taken on the timing of any referendum until the commitments made by the European Council have been delivered upon to the Government’s full satisfaction.

Michaela Jelínková, spokesperson of Minister for European Affairs
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