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EU ministers: Treaty 'not dead', 'emergency plan' needed
The bloc's foreign ministers yesterday (16 June) discussed options to save the Lisbon Treaty despite its rejection in the Irish referendum last Friday, one being to offer Ireland certain assurances of its sovereignty and have it vote again next year.
Halting the ratification process must not be an option, foreign ministers vowed after the meeting, with the only borderline country being the Czech Republic, where the treaty is under review by the court.
However ministers did not agree on a way forward.
"The worst would be for Brussels to impose something on Ireland," Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said after the meeting.
NWN- Franco Frattini speaks
"Iran is striving for global role and regional hegemony. While the first is a legitimate goal for any democratic country, the position of Iran's President appealing for destruction of Israel and questioning the holocaust is putting those goals in a completely different and highly worrying light. We, the International partners, should impede Iran to equip itself with an atomic bomb. It would hugely destabilize the world and the region. Already now the Arab countries fear Iran. What than if it would have such a deterrent leverage. Iran would be the only OPEC country to have an atomic bomb. You can only imagine the consequences this could have for Israel, for the region, on the petrol prices and on the global security. This is not Israel's problem only, it is our common problem, in Europe and the rest of the world.
According to him, there were three scenarios which should be categorically avoided: a long period of reflection such as the one following the failure of the constitution, a renegotiation of the Lisbon Treaty, and the suspension of the ratification process.
Three options appear to be currently on the table. Firstly, a small group of the more ambitious countries could move forward in the form of reinforced cooperation. In case no common solution can be found with Ireland, this approach is favoured most notably by Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and is likely to gain the support of Germany and France.