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Lisbon Treaty, double counting exists recognizes the Commission

(BRUSSELS2) The Netherlands deposited their instrument of ratification on 11 September, thus becoming the 18th Member State to have ratified the Lisbon Treaty.

About the Finland, its president, Tarja Halonen, signed the act of ratification on September 12 (three months after the parliamentary approval of June 11), considering it "desirable" that the Aaland Islands (which benefit from autonomy) also approve this Treaty . A political agreement has been concluded in Finland which could make it possible to associate these islands more closely with European politics, in particular to allow them to have access to the Court of Justice of the EC: a bill should be presented to this effect shortly. It should be noted that the act of ratification has not yet been received in Rome (Italy being the sole depositary of the Treaty).

These two news are interesting, and can challenge. These two States are, in fact, considered as having already ratified the Treaty by the Community authorities. The European Commission - on its website, and in all these press documents - as well as the European Parliament always mention the figure of 24. So I asked the Commission spokesperson the question to find out why a figure and not the other.

Two counting modes

In an epic exchange with the Commission's spokesperson, the latter ended up acknowledging half-heartedly that there is indeed "two stages: approval by the parliamentary authorities (or referendum if necessary) and the deposit of the instruments of ratification. There are effectively two counting methods: in 24 Member States, the parliaments have approved the treaty and 18 States members have deposited their instrument of ratification". "It is obvious that the Treaty will enter into force when the 27 have deposited their instrument of ratification. Everyone knows that"... But he immediately adds: "It is necessary to report on both situations. And the Commission is particularly keen on this as guardian of the Treaties. Namely that Member States have completed the parliamentary procedure" he added. Specifying: "For reasons of transparency, all stages of the process are reported."


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).