Saturday 18 January 2020

Taoiseach signs EU Fiscal Stability Treaty at Brussels summit

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny signs the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union during an EU Summit in Brussels on Friday, March 2, 2012. The leaders of 25 European states have signed a new treaty designed to prevent the 17 euro countries from running up huge debts in order to prevent a repeat of the current crisis afflicting the single currency zone. Of the 27 European Union states, only Britain and the Czech Republic decided not to sign the treaty. (AP Photo/Francois Lenoir, Pool)
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny signs the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union during an EU Summit in Brussels on Friday, March 2, 2012. The leaders of 25 European states have signed a new treaty designed to prevent the 17 euro countries from running up huge debts in order to prevent a repeat of the current crisis afflicting the single currency zone. Of the 27 European Union states, only Britain and the Czech Republic decided not to sign the treaty. (AP Photo/Francois Lenoir, Pool)
Taoiseach Enda Kenny pictured at the EU summit with Herman Van Rompuy (left), President, European Council and Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg

Independent.ie reporters and  Fionnan Sheahan

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny today signed the EU fiscal treaty before the referendum is held in Ireland to approve it.

EU officials stressed it is normal practice for every country intending to sign up to the treaty to sign it at this point.

Twenty-five EU leaders, representing every country bar Britain and the Czech Republic who are opting out, signed the treaty to impose tougher budget controls on their states.

The clear legal position is Mr Kenny signed the treaty, subject to ratification via the referendum.

The signature is a sign of commitment to approving the text, pending approval.

The Irish Government would also have signed previous treaties, including Nice and Lisbon, which took two referenda each before they were passed.

Ireland is unlikely to be the only country that will have to formally ratify the treaty at a national level.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who opted out of the treaty, last night bitterly complained that he was being ignored at an EU summit on jobs and growth.

He formally raised objections in Brussels that his ideas for swift action on cutting red tape, boosting businesses and opening up the single market were not reflected in draft summit conclusions.

A dozen countries are signed up to the "Plan for Growth in Europe", set out in a joint letter initiated by Mr Cameron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and circulated to all member states 10 days ago.

The letter emphasises the need to match the economic crisis response with a plan to "lay the foundations for strong and lasting economic recovery".

A rival Franco-German letter has also set out steps towards recovery, but EU officials denied there was any significant difference of view about the direction to take out of the crisis.

However, Mr Cameron pointed out forcefully at the summit table that some suggestions in the Franco-German letter explicitly appeared in the draft conclusions - but none of the plans set out in his 12-state document.

Irish Independent

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