Mixed Swedish Reaction to Ireland’s Rejection of the Lisbon Treaty
Swedish political leaders have commented on Ireland’s rejection of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, ranging from disappointment to satisfaction.
Since every EU country has to approve the agreement, the Irish referendum puts the entire project into crisis.
On his blog, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt says the vote must be respected, even if he personally deeply regrets the result. Bildt says the scheduled ratification of the treaty by the Swedish Parliament will not be affected.
Swedish EU Minister Cecilia Malmström tells Swedish Radio News that the vote is a setback for the EU, but not a crisis.
Sweden’s Margot Wallström, vice president of the Europen Commission, expressed her disappointment, and her concern that other countries may believe the referendum reflects a weakness in the EU’s decision-making.
Mona Sahlin, leader of Sweden’s opposition Social Democrats, says it would be extremely dangerous for EU leaders to pretend the Irish decision has no affect, and that the upcoming EU summit will have to look for a solution.
The co-spokesperson for the Swedish Green Party, Peter Eriksson, says the ratification process should stop now, and the EU should negotiate with Ireland over what needs to be changed in the treaty. The Greens reversed their previous opposition to Swedish EU membership at their recent conference.
The Swedish Left Party remains sceptical of the EU, and party leader Lars Ohly welcomed the no vote, saying it is the end for the Lisbon Treaty.
Ireland is the only country that gave voters a referendum on the agreement, as the decision is being made by the parliaments of the other members.