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EU's Reinfeldt To Meet Barroso, Czech PM Over Lisbon Treaty

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (file photo)
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -- The prime minister of Sweden, holder of the European Union Presidency, has said he will meet the Czech prime minister and European Commission president on October 7 to discuss the way forward on the EU's Lisbon Treaty.

"Today is a good day for Europe. It has been a long journey. Now the presidency will be active to reach all the way," Fredrik Reinfeldt said in a statement after Irish officials declared victory in a referendum on the bloc's Lisbon reform treaty.

"I have therefore invited Prime Minister [Jan] Fischer and Commission President [Jose Manuel] Barroso to a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday," Reinfeldt said.

The treaty, which would give the European Union a long-term president and a stronger foreign policy chief, needs to be ratified by all 27 member countries to take effect.

After the Irish, the Czechs and Poles are the only other EU members where the treaty is still being challenged. The Polish and Czech heads of state have raised objections despite approval in their national legislatures.

Reinfeldt had told a news conference earlier in the day that there was "no need for an extra [summit] meeting" over the Lisbon approval process. "We have a summit at the end of October and that might be perfect timing for this kind of discussion," Reinfeldt said.

There had been suggestions in media that Sweden might call an extra summit to put pressure on Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who has signaled his resistance to signing the treaty despite approval of it in the Czech parliament.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said earlier that Irish voters' approval of the European Union's Lisbon reform treaty showed Europe's response to the global economic crisis had been positive.

EU aid has helped Ireland through the recession, and national governments in the EU have poured money into their economies to stimulate them.

"It [support for the treaty] shows the value of European solidarity and I am really glad with the result we are receiving from Ireland," Barroso, who heads the EU executive, told reporters. "It shows the very positive response that Europe is bringing to the economic and financial crisis."

with additional wire and RFE/RL reporting