Am 26. Februar 2001 findet die feierliche Unterzeichnung des Vertrags von Nizza statt. Der französische Staatspräsident Jacques Chirac, der französische Premierminister Lionel Jospin, der schwedische Premierminister und amtierende Ratspräsident der Europäischen Union Göran Persson, die Präsidentin des Europäischen Parlaments Nicole Fontaine und der Präsident der Europäischen Kommission Romano Prodi ergreifen nacheinander das Wort, um die Unterzeichnung des Vertrages zu begrüßen und an die zukünftigen Herausforderungen für die Europäische Union zu erinnern.
On 26 February 2001, at the signing of the Treaty of Nice, Göran Persson, Swedish Prime Minister, emphasises the importance of the Treaty for making preparations for the enlargement of the European Union to include the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and for fighting unemployment more efficiently.
On 5 June 2001, the day that the draft law for the ratification of the Treaty of Nice is submitted to the French National Assembly, Hubert Védrine, French Foreign Minister, outlines the strengths of the new European Treaty.
On 5 June 2001, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro outlines the various positions of the Members of the French National Assembly in the light of the issues involved in the ratification of the Treaty of Nice.
On 9 June 2001, the Madrid-based daily newspaper El País reports on the consequences of the victory of the ‘no’ vote in the Irish referendum on the ratification of the Treaty of Nice. The choice made by the Irish people raises the question of the future of the treaty.
On 11 June 2001, Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Regional Policy and Institutional Reform, grants to the French daily newspaper Le Figaro an interview in which he comments on the refusal by the Irish to ratify the Treaty of Nice.
On 12 June 2001, commenting on the referendum on the ratification of the Treaty of Nice held in Ireland on 7 June, Bertie Ahern, Irish Prime Minister, expresses his disappointment at the country’s rejection of the Treaty in spite of his calls to approve it.
On 16 June 2001, following the refusal by the Irish to ratify the Treaty of Nice, Alain Lamassoure, former French Minister for European Affairs, warns the Fifteen against pursuing their Community policy.
In July 2001, in an article published in the journal Affari Esteri following the refusal of the Irish people to ratify the Treaty of Nice on 7 June, Rocco Antonio Cangelosi, Director General of European Integration in the Italian Foreign Ministry, considers the outcome of the Irish referendum and reaches the conclusion that the gulf between the European Union institutions and the people of Europe is becoming increasingly wide.
On 19 July 2002, Dick Roche, Irish Minister for European Affairs, emphasises the importance of the Treaty of Nice and the European Union for the Irish and warns his fellow citizens against making the same mistake as the United Kingdom in its policy towards Europe.
On 2 September 2002, in view of the second Irish referendum on the Treaty of Nice, Bertie Ahern, Irish Prime Minister, launches the Irish Government’s information campaign on the Treaty of Nice and the Seville Declarations.
On 21 October 2002, following the second Irish referendum on the Treaty of Nice, the Madrid-based daily newspaper El País maintains that holding successive referendums when the first does not achieve the desired results is not a positive sign for democracy and does not give a good image of European politics.
In an article published in the quarterly journal Commentaire in summer 2001, following the signing of the Treaty of Nice on 26 February, Alain Lamassoure, MEP and former French Minister for European Affairs, takes stock of the state of the European Union and shows how the Treaty constitutes a step backwards in the development of the Fifteen’s institutions.
On 27 March 2001, the Action Committee for the European Union adopts a Memorandum in Brussels on the state of the European Union following the decisions taken at the Nice European Council from 7 to 9 December 2000 and the signing of the Treaty of Nice on 26 February 2001.
In autumn 2001, in the journal Commentaire, Jean-Louis Bourlanges, Member of the European Parliament, strongly criticises the Treaty of Nice and analyses in particular the imbalances that it creates between European partners as well as the negative effects that it has on the functioning of the European Union institutions.