Cowen puts onus on EU leaders to find treaty solution for Ireland

Taoiseach Brian Cowen said in Dublin today that he wants EU leaders to help find solutions to keep Ireland at the heart of the EU.

Mr Cowen will discuss the Lisbon Treaty crisis with heads of state at the European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday.

“I passionately believe that Ireland’s future belongs at the heart of the European Union,” he said today.

“We now have to sit down with a sense of solidarity and co-operation with all the member states to see if we can find a way forward.”

“I want Europe to help provide some of the solutions instead of it being Ireland’s problem alone, although I accept Ireland has a position that we have to deal with.”

The crisis will be discussed between EU ministers for the first time tomorrow when Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin meets his counterparts in Luxembourg.

Mr Cowen added: “Clearly, if things stay as they are, the Lisbon Treaty cannot be ratified – that is the Irish constitutional position.

“There is also the fact that this situation affects other member states as well – 26 other countries who want to discuss this issue with us on the basis of this outcome – but it is not clear how we are going to proceed,” he told RTÉ Radio.

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