EU summit: support for Barroso, concession for Ireland

At the EU summit in Brussels leaders agreed to offer the Irish govenrment legal guarantees on national sovereignty to help secure a 'yes' vote for the Lisbon treaty. Agreement was also reached on the creation of a European system of financial supervisors; and leaders also agreed to support Jose Manuel Barroso's bid for a second five-year term as president of the EU's executive European Commission, opting for continuity in efforts to combat the economic crisis.

Ireland gets guarantees to help secure support for Lisbon treaty in second referendum

The European Union agreed on Friday to offer the Irish government legal guarantees on national sovereignty.  This should allay voters fears and help secure backing for the EU's Lisbon reform treaty.
The accord will give the guarantees the status of a treaty protocol -- an Irish demand -- but also explicitly state that they will not affect the ratification of the reform project in other EU countries, overcoming a British concern.

The guarantees are intended to assure Irish voters who rejected the treaty in a referendum last year that Ireland's policy on matters ranging from military neutrality to abortion will be unaffected by the treaty. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen (photo) announced that Dublin would hold the new referendum on the treaty in October. The reform or Lisbon treaty will reform decision making in the EU and requires the backing of all member states to take effect.

Agreement on regulatory reforms to tackle the financial crisis

Agreement was reached on the regulatory reforms after late-night talks Thursday in Brussels between Britain, Germany and France addressing concerns in London that the new pan-EU bodies could undermine the powers of national regulators. The EU leaders agreed on Friday to back the creation of a European system of financial supervisors to help prevent any new economic crisis, but to give them only limited powers.

"The European Union, like the rest of the world, still faces the effects of the deepest and most widespread recession of the post-war era. It is imperative for the EU to continue to develop and implement the measures required to respond to the crisis," the leaders said in the draft declaration.

Jose Manuel Barroso gets unanimous support by the EU leaders

The European Union leaders also agreed unanimously in Brussels to support Jose Manuel Barroso's bid for a second five-year term as president of the European Commission.

This is a choice for continuity in another effort to combat the economic crisis.

The European Parliament must approve his bid for another term.