Nicolas Sarkozy: Without the Lisbon treaty reforms, the European Union may stall

Share
Related Topics

The Lisbon process is back on the road. The Irish will be consulted again. If we stick with the Nice treaty, we stay with a European Commission with a diminishing number of commissioners. If we move to the Lisbon model, every member state will have a commissioner. Political pledges were made to the Irish on neutrality, taxation and the family. These are recurrent, important themes for our Irish friends.

We put a compromise on the table allowing us to assure everyone that they won't have to go through a new Lisbon treaty ratification procedure because there won't be any change to the Lisbon treaty.

Second, I think that in the future the commission president's powers need to be strengthened. Let me explain why. It is very simple, because the more commissioners you have, the more authority the commission president has to have over the commissioners to ensure there is a doctrine, otherwise things are shambolic.

Finally, the commission needs very strong leadership at the head of the European Council, because if there isn't strong leadership at the head of the European Council, the commission finds itself in a situation of having to be guardian of the spirit of the treaties and, at the same time, act at the political level. The right balance for our institutions is to have a president of the political council giving a lead to a commission president, guardian of the spirit of the treaties, who, in perfect partnership with the president of the council, must do his job at both the technological and political levels.

Without strong leadership at the head of the council, the commission finds itself in a very disagreeable situation of being everything at the same time, which weakens it. This is the magic and subtlety of the European institutions. I very strongly believe in it.

I would like to end by telling you this: I have been enthralled by what I've been doing. I've been very happy to do it. It has been a great honour, in no way a burden. For me, it has been tremendously eye-opening. I hope all those who succeed me will love the job as much as I have, because Europe deserves to be represented, deserves to be defended and deserves to have a face. Happy Christmas!

The outgoing EU president, the French leader Nicolas Sarkozy, was speaking in Brussels earlier this week

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Front end web developer - URGENT CONTRACT

£250 - £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT** Our...

Year 3 Teacher

£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 Teachers - Chelm...

ABAP Developer

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ampersand Consulting LLP: SAP ABAP Developer - Rugb...

Head of Finance - Media

£80000 - £90000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Working for an International Mul...

Day In a Page

Read Next
An Ottawa police officer runs with his weapon drawn outside Parliament Hill in Ottawa  

Ottawa shooting: Canada’s innocence is not lost — unless we want it to be

 

Daily catch-up: Hislop the Younger, by-election polling and all about the olden days

John Rentoul
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?