Mon Jun 16th, 2008 at 07:09:11 PM EST
At the current moment it is completly unclear how and if the Lisbon Treaty can be salvaged. Many national governments are already discussing the 'nuclear' option of ratifying the treaty and leaving Ireland behind. In a legal sense this would mean that they will leave the EU as it exists right now and form a new one based on the Lisbon Treaty.
But this is a rather radical step and one should try to calmly look at all options we have to take Ireland's decision into account but still implement reforms contained in the Lisbon treaty. In this diary I want to focus on one of the reforms which I liked most, that is the creation of a more coherent Foreign Policy by creating a more powerful Foreign Policy Representative and a diplomatic corps.
The Nice Treaty includes an Article (Article 43) which allows for several Nations to establish "enhanced cooperation". On the page I have linked to is a lot of stuff which I do not fully understand, but let me cite what I think is the important part when it comes to foreign policy:
Member States which intend to establish enhanced cooperation between themselves shall address a request to the Council to that effect. Authorization shall be granted by the Council, acting by a qualified majority on the opinion of the Commission and after having informed the Parliament. However, Article 23 of the EU Treaty provides that a Member State may request that the matter be referred to the European Council for a decision by unanimity. Member States thus retain their right of veto in this area.
As one can see it is possible to establish enhanced coordination in the area of Foreign Policy but it could be vetoed by any member. However if all 26 signing Members agree to implement the Foreign Policy cooperation established in the Lisbon Treaty I think Ireland would not be in a position to veto this.
Maybe similar thing could be done in other areas as well.