EU reform treaty hits ratification snags in Poland and Slovakia

The European Union's Reform Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Lisbon, is running into ratification difficulties in Slovakia and Poland. In Slovakia opposition parties are linking ratification to support for a controversial media bill. In Poland some MP's want the ratification bill to include a statement on the supremacy of the Polish constitution over EU law. This is worrying for the EU because all of its member states must ratify the treaty before it can take effect.

For a look at the hold-up in Poland Michal Kubicki has been speaking to Marek Magierowski, deputy editor of the Warsaw daily, Rzeczpospolita.

"The most worrying aspect of the ratification debate is that it’s only among politicians and not between politicians and voters. I think the Lisbon Treaty should be subjected to a referendum. I’m sure that both parties, the ruling Civic Platform and the Law and Justice, are playing a game now. Curiously enough, Law and Justice trumpeted the final version of the Lisbon Treaty as a great diplomatic success of the Kaczynski government and now they’re undermining the substance of the treaty".

On the other hand the ruling Civic Platform, when in opposition, was extremely critical of the Lisbon Treaty and of what President Lech Kazcynski signed in Lisbon - isn't that right?

"I think that there is an internal crisis in Law and Justice because many MPs of that party have already announced that they would vote in favour of the Lisbon Treaty. Law and Justice is now undermining its political credibility."

"As I was saying before both parties [Civic Platform and Law and Justice] use the Lisbon Treaty only for internal purposes which is quite odd and completely against not only the real sense of the Lisbon Treaty but also the real sense of European integration."

Do you think Poland may be heading for a referendum in the final account?

"The Civic Platform mentioned there might be a referendum right after it appeared there might be ratification problems in the parliament. If you call a referendum, it means you treat the voters seriously. This would be the only opportunity to present the Lisbon Treaty to a wider public, to talk about the details of it, to talk about what vision of the European Union this Treaty carries with itself. If we lose this opportunity, if we have no referendum on the Lisbon Treaty that will be – maybe not anti-democratic but not very democratic."