Polish president refuses to sign EU reform treaty
Polish President Lech Kaczynski announced in an interview published on Monday that he will not sign the EU's Lisbon Treaty, saying it was pointless after Irish voters rejected it in a referendum last month.
"For the moment, the question of the treaty is pointless," Kaczynski was quoted as saying in the online version of the daily Dziennik.
The Polish parliament voted in April to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, a key reform treaty meant to streamline EU decision-making, but it needs the signature of the president to become definitive.
Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum held on June 12, putting EU reform plans in jeopardy as it needs to be ratified by all 27 EU member states to enter into force.
Kaczynksi's refusal to ratify the treaty is a serious blow to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has set himself the task with finding a way of overcoming the Irish rejection of the treaty as France takes over the six-month rotating EU presidency today.
The French EU presidency's "first priority is to find a way to contain the problem to the Irish," Sarkozy said in television interview on Monday, adding that EU countries must continue ratifying the key charter.
The Czech Republic will also likely pose a problem for Sarkozy with many lawmakers in the centre-right ruling coalition cool the treaty, starting with eurosceptic President Vaclav Klaus.
"It is difficult to say how all this will end. But on the other hand, to say that without the treaty there won't be a Union is not serious," said Kaczynski.