EU leaders concede new treaty will be delayed
European Union leaders were set to acknowledge Friday that the Lisbon Treaty will no longer come into force on January 1, as initially planned, because of Ireland's rejection of the text, reported dpa.
The leaders were attending the second day of a summit in Brussels, the first since the Irish no in a referendum on June 12.
According to draft conclusions of the meeting seen by Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, leaders were to refrain from placing a date on when the treaty should come into force.
While they fell well short of declaring the treaty dead, the leaders also chose not to put pressure on those member states which have not yet ratified the treaty, noting merely in their conclusions that "the ratification process continues."
The fallout from the Irish no to a treaty designed to improve the 27-member bloc's decision-making process overshadowed EU discussions on surging oil and food prices.
After hearing about the reasons for the referendum's outcome from Irish premier Brian Cowen over dinner, the leaders also agreed not to place a deadline for Ireland to come up with a way out of the stalemate, saying the country needed more time to analyze the result.
"We will not set any deadlines today, not for Ireland, not for anybody else," said Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa at the end of the first day of the two-day EU summit in Brussels.