Spain Ratifies Lisbon Treaty


Spain on July 15 became the 23rd EU member state to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. The plenary vote in the Senate was 223 in favor of the treaty, six against and two abstentions. King Juan Carlos I is expected to sign the treaty later this week to complete the ratification process.
Spain’s lower house of parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying the treaty on June 26, with 322 deputies in the 350-member chamber coming out in favor.
The Senate vote had originally been planned for late September or early October, but
Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos said it was moved up to July, before lawmakers take their summer break, so that the treaty “can be ratified as soon as possible.” The fear was that Spain might be subjected to negative publicity if it were the last country to ratify the treaty.
The treaty has the backing of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s ruling Socialist Party as well as the main opposition Popular Party.
Zapatero on June 19 said Ireland’s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty would not prevent the European Union from adopting the text. “What cannot happen is that Ireland ... can stop a project that is so necessary to advance European integration,” Zapatero told Spanish public radio. He said Brussels must act “so that it is Ireland that has the doubt and the problem and not the EU. Ireland will not stop Europe,” he said.
European Commission president José Manuel Barroso welcomed Spain’s vote, saying the Spanish government and parliament had shown “unwavering support for the European project.” He said: “I believe that today’s approval of the treaty is a clear confirmation of the determination to move forward with the ratification process so that all member states express their positions during the ratification process.”