[JURIST] Ireland approved [press release] the European Union (EU) reform treaty, known as the Lisbon Treaty [EU materials; text], in a second referendum vote held Friday, the European Commission announced Saturday. The vote, which amends Ireland's constitution, was approved by approximately 67 percent of voters, according to an official poll [results]. European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso applauded [statement, PDF] the treaty's approval, saying that the results show Ireland's recognition of the EU's role in responding to the economic crisis. Irish voters originally rejected the referendum over a year ago, but the government agreed to hold a second vote [JURIST reports] after the EU offered guarantees on representation, national sovereignty, and other legal matters.
Efforts to ratify [JURIST news archive] the treaty in all 27 member countries have been met with some obstacles, but Ireland's approval may now pave the way for the treaty to enter into effect. Last week, German President Horst Koehler [official website, in German] signed [JURIST report] the Lisbon Treaty, completing that country's problematic ratification process. Although the treaty has now been approved in 25 countries, Ireland's rejection of the treaty last year led Czech President Vaclav Klaus [official website] to refuse to sign the measure, despite approval [JURIST report] by the country's senate. In July 2008, Polish President Lech Kaczynski [official website] also refused to sign [JURIST report] the treaty despite parliamentary approval, calling it "pointless" in light of the Irish rejection.