[JURIST] Netherlands Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende [official profile] said Friday that he would press on with ratification of the the EU reform treaty [JURIST news archive] formally known as the Treaty of Lisbon [official website; PDF text] even after Irish voters rejected it [JURIST report] in a referendum Thursday. The Irish vote casts a shadow over the future of the pact as it must be approved by all 27 EU states in order to take effect. The Dutch parliament's lower house approved [European Voice report] the treaty by a vote of 111-39 earlier this month, and the upper house is expected to do the same in July. Balkenende called the Irish "no" vote "disappointing" but declined to say more until he hears from the Irish government at the next EU summit. Balkenende previously insisted [press release, backgrounder] the treaty "does justice to the views held by a large proportion of the population about Europe". EU Business has more.
France and Germany meanwhile echoed a general call [press release, PDF] by EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso [official profile] for the remaining countries who have not ratified the treaty to continue with the process notwithstanding the Irish vote. European Union leaders signed the reform treaty [JURIST report] last December, and eighteen countries have so far ratified the document [JURIST archive]. In 2005, a draft European constitution [JURIST news archive] failed when voters in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] rejected the proposal in national referenda. EU leaders are expected to meet in Brussels next week to discuss how to move ahead in light of the Irish vote.