When the 27 head of states signed the Lisbon Treaty on December 13th 2007, there was hope that the simplified Treaty would, this time, come into force in January 2009. All contentious points and symbols had been left out, and the new Treaty concentrated only on the urgently needed institutional reforms. However, the tables quickly turned : On 12th June the Irish – Ireland was the only country which held a referendum – voted against the Treaty. Yet, 25 member states have ratified the Treaty so far, mostly through their parliaments. Only the Czech Republic has not yet ratified it. While parliaments mainly voted pro-European, referenda in different member states would certainly have led to a different result. Knowledge and undertstanding of the Treaty is prevadingly low. The Irish government seems therewhile constrained to reorganise a referendum. But in an economic downturn and a growing negative atmosphere in Ireland a positive outcome seems close to unachievable.
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