Polen: geen conferentie over EU-verdrag zonder debat over stemmodel (en)

Met dank overgenomen van EUobserver (EUOBSERVER) i, gepubliceerd op dinsdag 19 juni 2007, 18:02.
Auteur: | By Andrew Rettman

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Poland will not take part in any intergovernmental talks on a new EU treaty that do not discuss EU voting rights, but the square root voting model is open to negotiation, Polish officials said going into pre-summit talks in Brussels on Tuesday (19 June) night.

"If there's no possibility to discuss such an important item as the voting issue, then there's no point in having an intergovernmental conference [IGC]," a Polish delegate said, speaking before the 27 teams of sherpas - EU member state negotiators - sat down in Brussels at 17:00 local time.

"If there's such a situation...then we don't think there's a possibility to start the IGC," the contact reiterated.

The Tuesday night meeting is to discuss the German EU presidency's draft mandate for the IGC, which is planned to open in early July and could see talks run through the summer, with the upcoming Portuguese EU presidency hoping to wrap up a deal in October.

Based on early copies of the German mandate text, the Polish delegation did not expect to see voting included in Tuesday's version. The situation prompted the Polish prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, in Warsaw to reprimand Berlin on its style.

"Many countries...raised various kinds of objections to what was until recently called the constitutional treaty project," he said, PAP reports. "These were recorded in the German presidency's report and then, which we now know...in the [draft] mandate - with one exception, relating to Poland."

Poland isolated

Almost all EU states have backed Germany in its approach to voting, with Poland isolated on wanting to change a proposed "double majority" system, which is based on simple EU state population size. Portugal has even ruled out holding the IGC if the conference's mandate is too wide.

But Poland says it's plan - a double majority system based on the "square root" of EU state populations - is more democratic than the simple model. The square root also helps Warsaw to build "blocking minorities" more easily, giving it extra influence in Brussels.

Polish sherpa Marek Cichocki told press on Tuesday that the democratic principle is more important to Poland than the square root idea as such.

"Our proposal is based on the principle of the equal influence of the citizens of the EU in the decision-making system in the [EU] council," he said. "If there's another proposal on how to achieve this better than ours, then of course we are open to it, but I don't know of any such proposal."

He added that "if we can not find such a solution at the summit [on Thursday and Friday] then we should do this at the IGC."

Mr Cichocki's fellow sherpa, Ewa Osniecka-Tamecka, downplayed Poland's isolated position, saying that fresh allies could come up once the real debate starts after Berlin puts its final draft mandate on the table in Brussels on Tuesday night.

"It's not so dangerous at this stage," she said.

Lech coming tomorrow

Polish officials also confirmed that president Lech Kaczynski is the most likely of the Polish twins to come to the summit this week, with his plane due to arrive in Brussels late on Wednesday evening, with bilateral meetings planned for Thursday morning.

Some analysts say that if the more mellow president comes instead of his hard-nosed brother, prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, there's more chance Poland will not veto the IGC mandate.

But other analysts say Lech's presence might mean Poland's mind on the veto is already made up before the summit even starts.

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