EU summit agreed on guarantees for Ireland
© Office of the Government of the Czech Republic
The heads of state and government meeting in Brussels on 18 and 19 June decided to grant legal guarantees which should help the Irish say yes to the Lisbon Treaty. They also unanimously approved the reappointment of José Manuel Barroso to head the European Commission and agreed on reforms to strengthen the supervision of financial services.
As a response to Irish concerns regarding the Lisbon treaty, the European Council agreed on legal guarantees for Ireland, relating to areas such as taxation policy, military neutrality and social affairs. These are meant to pave the way for a new consultation of the Irish people. "The final text is acceptable for Ireland but also for the other member states," declared the current President of the European Council, the Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer. As the measures are fully compatible with the treaty, they will not necessitate re-ratification by the other member states.
The EU leaders took the first steps in the process of designating the head of the Commission for the period 2009-2014. They stated their intention to nominate José Manuel Barroso for a second term as President of the European Commission.
The recession continues to dominate discussions among EU leaders. The European Council confirmed its support for the establishment of a new framework for the supervision of financial services in order to prevent further crises. This framework will consist of a two-tier system: the European Systemic Risk Board which will assess potential threats to financial stability and issue risk warnings, and a European System of Financial Supervisors, which will have the oversight of the quality of supervision at the national level.
Growing unemployment remains an issue of concern. It is essential that the EU focuses on job creation, mobility and upgrading workers' skills, in order to improve access to employment, while at the same time strengthening social protection and the rights of workers.
Elsewhere, the summit called for an acceleration of internal and external negotiations on climate change with a view to reaching an agreement at the UN Conference in Copenhagen in December. Developing tools to combat climate change will also contribute to reaching a sustainable economy and creating new jobs.
Presidency Conclusions (pdf)
Webcast of Presidency press conference