Well, well, well... Finally, Vaclav Klaus signed the Treaty of Lisbon today! It was a long and tortuous ratification process, with many hurdles, delays and surprises and hopefully the Treaty will enter into force this December.
I thought it would be harder to get Klaus to sign, but apparently the man isn't foolish as I thought. The British Tories are now in an interesting position... But don't worry Cameron, you can still withdraw from the Union :)
It was a strange time here at the European Commission, as people got a bit surprised by how fast the Treaty and the Irish vote passed through. Some of us really thought that we would get stuck in Nice forever. Some even said that Klaus delays in signing the Treaty allowed people to get ready.
The hot topic nowadays is the External Service and the High Representative (HR). As you know, it is one of the main innovations of the treaty and the HR is likely to be become even more powerful than the president of the Union. So negotiations are ongoing on the subject and many of our colleagues in the RELEX (External Relations) family are worried by the structuring of the External Service. Because the Service will be mixed with the Commission, the Council and the Member States, everyone is trying to protect his own backyard: diplomacy, development, trade, enlargement. And even the Parliament is joining the debate, threatening with his new powers!
Many internal session to inform are being conducted but still nothing seems decided. The Treaty stipulates that the External Service is to be defined by a Council Decision on a proposal by the HR himself... Thrilling, isn't it?