A compromise on running Europe: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has won agreement from the other European Union leaders to make limited changes to their common treaty, with Paris Berlin’s key backer.
The purpose is to make an emergency euro stability fund permanent, though it will carry a sting for those who need it.
Merkel’s call to suspend the voting rights of countries which breach budget rules was not successful. That is one less thing for austerity-bound Greece to worry about, for now.
A part of the Lisbon Treaty lets EU countries, unanimously, amend how the bloc works.
Ireland’s constitution requires a referendum on important matters. But not all, according to Prime Minister Brian Cowen.
Cowen downplayed the wild card factor: “We can only judge these things once we have seen the detailed proposals and we take legal advice on it. It’s simply the case in Ireland that it’s not automatic that there is a referendum every time.”
The leaders asked Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the EU Council of heads of state and government, to prepare changes to the Lisbon treaty in time for agreement at a summit in December.
Euronews correspondent Sergio Cantone, at the end of the summit in Brussels concluded:
“The bail-out mechanism and revision of the treaty, interest rates and the risks of referenda mean that van Rompuy has a tough several weeks to cope with. As the European Council’s President, he’ll need to employ all his diplomatic skills to moderate and negotiate, as he seeks a consensus on this among all the 27 EU countries.”