What should they do now? That’s the question which will be asked across Europe today. Foreign ministers meet in Luxemburg as French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in Prague, tries to convince the Czechs, for one, that they should still ratify the EU Treaty despite Ireland’s rejection of it.
“As we were saying during the course of the campaign, a no vote puts us into unchartered waters,” said Irish prime Minister Brian Cowen. “Without the full consent of all states obviously the treaty can’t come into being, and we have to look at this closely now with colleagues because they are obviously affected by this as well.”
EU officials are talking about a ‘legal arrangement’ for Ireland. But Cowen has rejected any idea of a ‘redefinition’ of his country within Europe and insists a new framework must be found.