Polen wil onderhandelingen EU-verdrag op twee punten heropenen (en)

Met dank overgenomen van EUobserver (EUOBSERVER), gepubliceerd op maandag 2 juli 2007, 9:59.
Auteur: | By Lucia Kubosova

Poland has raised the prospect of opening two sensitive issues during the forthcoming negotiations on a new EU treaty with the Polish representative at the talks predicting it will "not be boring."

Just one week after EU leaders agreed on the outline of a revised treaty to replace the rejected constitution, Warsaw has sparked concern in several European quarters by signalling it wants to further examine both the voting system compromise and the human rights charter.

Poland has raised questions about a specific part of the voting system which allows countries to delay an EU decision if they fall just short of the required number of countries to block it.

Warsaw says it was given a "gentleman's agreement" that there would be a mechanism to delay the decision for up to two years.

This is denied by EU officials with the Portuguese presidency insisting there must be a "misunderstanding."

According to Polish leading daily Gazeta Wyborcza, the European charter of fundamental rights is also a hot topic in Warsaw, although Poland secured a special declaration saying the charter does not affect the right of member states to legislate "in the sphere of public morality [and] family law."

Some in Poland are concerned that the charter's anti-discrimination provisions could become a way to push through more relaxed rules on same-sex marriages in the country.

"We want to avoid seeing this argument being used for pressing on us in morality and tradition-related issues; or forcing us for example to introduce homosexual marriages in Poland including the right of such couples to adopt children," said Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Gazeta Wyborcza reported.

Marek Cichocki, Poland's national "sherpa" for the treaty talks argues that the forthcoming intergovernmental negotiations could still see some controversial political issues emerging as the previous EU presidency, under Germany, tried to "limit" debates in order to secure a quick deal, Polish PAP agency reported.

He predicts the treaty negotiations "will not be boring," adding "the Portuguese will indeed have some work to do with it."

For its part, Lisbon is hoping for short negotiations with a final text on the table by mid-October.

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