Heads of State and Government and foreign ministers of the EU 27 member states congregated in Lisbon to sign the Reform Treaty and officially called it the "Lisbon Treaty".
However, for the treaty to come into force it needs to be ratified by the parliaments of all 27 member states. So far only Ireland will be holding a referendum. Other countries which had promised a referendum on the Constitutional Treaty have decided not to hold one on the Lisbon Treaty. These are the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
France and the Netherlands, where the Constitutional Treaty was rejected in referendums in 2005, do not plan to hold another referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Calls for referendums persist across the EU since the argument that the Lisbon Treaty is the same "cosmetically revised" Constitutional Treaty has been generally admitted, foremost amongst whom is Valéry Giscard D'Estaing the president of the convention that drafted the Constitution.
On 12 Dec 2007 several MEPs staged a protest inside the Hemicycle in the European Parliament in Strasbourg demanding for a referendum on the new treaty. The protest, which included banners and T-shirts, was staged during the signing of the Charter of Fundamental Rights which will be annexed to the Lisbon Treaty. The charter was signed by Commission President Barroso, European Council president Jose Socrates (Portuguese prime minister) and the president of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering, who were booed during their speeches. The protesting MEPs were ordered out while ushers were sent around to confiscate banners.
"This is the new EU in action, showing the world a united face as they steam-roll towards their own super-state while totally refusing to allow anyone to see a different point of view", said Nigel Farage MEP, co-president of the IND/DEM group in the European Parliament.
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