Sarkozy, Merkel want treaty ratification process to go on (Roundup)
Jun 13, 2008, 16:30 GMT
Paris - Reacting jointly to the Irish rejection of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday they hoped that the treaty ratification process would continue.
'The Lisbon Treaty has been signed by the heads of state and government of 27 member states and the ratification process has been completed in 18 countries. We therefore hope that the other member states will pursue the ratification process,' the two leaders said in a statement.
'We are convinced that the reforms contained in the Lisbon Treaty are necessary to make Europe more democratic and more efficient and that they will enable (Europe) to respond to the challenges confronting its citizens,' the joint statement read.
The rejection of the Lisbon Treaty is a particularly hard blow for Sarkozy, who was instrumental in drafting it after the French rejected an EU constitution in a referendum.
In addition, France assumes the rotating EU presidency on July 1 and will have to deal with the fallout of the Irish vote.
In Beijing, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had also said the ratification process had to continue.
In a statement released by his aides in Berlin, he called the result 'a serious setback' but said, 'I am convinced that we do need this treaty, a treaty that makes Europe more democratic, more able to act and more transparent. That it why we are sticking to our objective of putting it into effect.
'The ratification process has to go on. Together with our EU partners and our Irish friends, we are going to consider how we should deal with the situation that has arisen.'