A rocky start for Sarkozy's EU presidency

The Eiffel Tower turned blue shortly before midnight Monday to celebrate France's assumption of the EU presidency, but Tuesday morning the mood in Paris turned just as blue, reported dpa.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's six-month term at the head of the Union got off to a rocky start when Polish President Lech Kaczynski said he would put the Lisbon Treaty on ice.

The Irish rejection of the treaty in last month's referendum had rendered it "pointless," and so he will not sign it, Kaczynski said in an interview published Tuesday in the daily Dziennik.

In addition, on Monday German President Horst Koehler suspended ratification of the Lisbon Treaty following a request to wait from Germany's constitutional court.

German opponents of the reform treaty went to the court demanding injunctions against its ratification. It may take until next year for the constitutional court to give a verdict.

With the Czech Republic also waiting on a court decision before ratifying, Sarkozy will doubtless have to spend much of the next six months trying to save the treaty.

Sarkozy admitted as much on Tuesday, saying that resolving the treaty crisis had become the top priority of the French EU presidency.

But France also wants to achieve "concrete results" on immigration, European defence, the environment and energy, Sarkozy said. These had been France's top priorities before the Irish "no" and the Polish "not now."

Sarkozy's office in the Elysee Palace warned Kaczynski that he risked preventing the Union from taking in new members, such as Croatia or Ukraine, which Warsaw had supported.

In an interview on French television late Monday, Sarkozy had said the EU would take in no new members until the Lisbon Treaty is ratified.

"There will be no enlargement of Europe if we can not reform its institutions," he said.

The Lisbon Treaty was drafted to make the Union more efficient in removing the need for unanimity in a number of domains. It also increases the powers of the European Parliament and creates the post of a European Council president, who serves for 30 months.

The treaty must be ratified by all 27 EU members to come into force before the next Europan Parliament elections, in June 2009.

But the Warsaw announcement was not the only bad news for Sarkozy on Tuesday. The spokesman for EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson reacted angrily to Sarkozy's criticism of his boss in the Monday television interview.

"Such criticism is wrong and unjustified," the spokesman said. "At a difficult time in world trade negotiations, the EU needs to maintain its unity."

Unity is precisely the element that is sorely lacking in the Union as Sarkozy takes centre stage. With the EU deep into another institutional crisis, he will have to be diplomatic, rather than confrontational.

However, he spent his Monday television appearance criticizing many aspects of the EU, such as the expertise of the European Commission's fisheries experts, the EU's value-added tax rigour, the European Central Bank's refusal to lower interest rates and Mandelson's policy on trade negotiations.

"Europe is worrying its citizens. There have been mistakes in the way Europe has been put together. We have to change the way it is being put together," Sarkozy said.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Iranian private investments in Tajikistan expected to grow
Iranian private investments in Tajikistan expected to grow
IRICA unveils data on exports of Iran to Belarus
IRICA unveils data on exports of Iran to Belarus
Loading Bars
Latest
First concert of Azerbaijan's trio under leadership Isfar Sarabsky takes place as part of European tour (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Graduation ceremony of Azerbaijani servicemen participating in courses held in Turkey
Heavy rains lash India's Kerala, red alert sounded in 5 districts
Share of households with internet access increases in Georgia
Seventeen U.S. missionaries and family kidnapped in Haiti
Iranian private investments in Tajikistan expected to grow
1,900 new COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
IRICA unveils data on exports of Iran to Belarus
Azerbaijan national team takes second place at Grand Slam judo tournament
8 killed, over 20 injured in traffic accident in Peru
1 deputy killed, 2 injured in "ambush shooting" in U.S. Texas
Israel's active COVID-19 cases below 20,000
At least 6 dead, 1 missing after ship sinks in Brazil
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry shares publication in connection with anniversary of Armenia's missile attack on Ganja
Information about firing of Azerbaijani army in direction of Arazdeyen does not reflect truth - Ministry of Defense
Sudan protest calls for military coup as political crisis deepens
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev addresses the nation on October 17, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 17, 2020
District Election Commissions to sum up protocols of municipal polls in Georgia
A working meeting of the delegations of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan takes place
Russian authorities say 18 dead in suspected alcohol poisoning in Yekaterinburg
UN chief welcomes unilateral cease-fire in CAR
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
Work on increasing wages, pensions and benefits begins - Ministry of Finance of Azerbaijan
Official talks reasons for increase in gas prices in Azerbaijan
Post-conflict reconstruction projects launched by President Ilham Aliyev is unprecedented - Aide to President (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani IDEA signs agreement with All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation (PHOTO)
Saudi Arabia's PIF launches offshore platform tourism project
NATO Special Representative for Caucasus to visit Azerbaijan
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on October 17
Iran reaches grow in exports to Kyrgyzstan
World gas prices grow by 20-30 times compared to last year - SOCAR
Latvia to gift Georgia 83,070 doses of Pfizer jab
Earthquake hits southern Iran
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,681 more COVID-19 cases, 675 recoveries
South Caucasus countries need to coordinate to open communications - Pakistani diplomat
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signs decree on raising social payments
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 16
Uzbekistan to privatize public park in Tashkent
Muslims all together sympathetic with Azerbaijan - Palestinian ambassador
Iran's exports to Kazakhstan up
SOCAR Georgia Gas opens tender on pickup trucks through operating lease
Turkish president and German chancellor holding talks in Istanbul
Novak does not rule out recurrence of energy crisis in Europe, urges its prevention
Azerbaijani official talks victims of Armenian attacks on Tartar during Second Karabakh War
Centuries needed to revive nature of Azerbaijan's Karabakh - minister
Azerbaijan raises electricity and gas prices
Restoration work in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories show positive trend – Kyrgyz ambassador
Over past 25-30 years, no country independently conducted such large-scale reconstruction in post-conflict period - aide to Azerbaijani president
Armenia must take serious and positive steps to open communications - Azerbaijani president's assistant (Exclusive)
Azerbaijan looks to sign document on demining liberated territories with France
Azerbaijan's Air Defense Units carrying out combat firing exercises (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan's Karabakh to be famous for its "smart cities" and agricultural products - Turkish ambassador
Iran boosts exports to Russia
Russia registers over 1,000 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours first since pandemic starts
Kazakh energy minister names reasons for shutdown of Pavlodar refinery
Iran sees increase in trade turnover with EAEU member states
Representatives of diplomatic corps view restoration work in liberated territories of Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
First plane with UN humanitarian aid for Afghanistan arrives in Uzbekistan
Iran records increase in load/unload operations in Amirabad port
Georgia and US to discuss co-op in Black Sea
Fuzuli Airport Granted International Status and Assigned IATA Code
Uzbekistan to fund startups in various sectors
U.S. lawmaker blames Boeing leaders for culture that led to crashes
Turkmenistan to purchase agricultural machinery from foreign manufacturers
Iran Energy Exchange shares data on sales of Iran’s Jam Petrochemical Company
Azerbaijan names gymnasts to perform at World Championships in Japan
During former occupation of Sugovushan, Armenia deprived vast lands of water - aide to Azerbaijani president (PHOTO)
Volume of loaded and unloaded cargo in Iran’s Noshahr Port down
Georgia shares data on COVID-19 cases for October 16
Kazakhstan boosts trade with Turkmenistan over 8M2021
Exports of steel manufacturers in Iran increase
Georgia, EU, and Turkey enter into "diagonal cumulation" agreement
Azerbaijani sees increase in oil prices
Iran raises ceiling on housing loans
Uzbekistan’s FEZ creates good basis for deepening co-op with Azerbaijan
Turkmenistan’s private enterprise eyes building dry cargo vessel
Trade turnover between Russia, US may hit record this year, says Deputy PM Overchuk
Iran to launch several shipping lines to Russia, Kazakhstan
Iran looks to improve transportation of goods from Khuzestan Province
Russia’s Korona Pay eyes expanding money transfers via Azerbaijan's mobile banking apps
Gas prices in Europe to remain high over next 6 months
Iranian currency rates for October 16
Turkmenistan's electric potential rises after commissioning new capacious power plants
Iran to increase fuel production
UK MP killing was terrorist incident, Met Police say
Representatives of diplomatic corps in Azerbaijan begin visit to Sugovushan
Czech Republic eyes to support improvement of Georgian air transport infrastructure
1,900 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Biden says those who refuse to testify in Jan 6 probe should be prosecuted
ISIS claims responsibility for mosque attack in Afghan city of Kandahar
Fully vaccinated foreign visitors can enter U.S. starting on Nov. 8
China's Shenzhou-13 crewed spaceship docks with space station module
UK records more than 40,000 COVID cases for third day in a row
Biden says Clinton will be released ‘shortly’ from California hospital
Amazon-owned Twitch says source code exposed in last week's data breach
Israel's annual inflation up 2.5 pct, highest in nearly decade
Africa's COVID-19 cases surpass 8.41 mln: Africa CDC
All news