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Yes and No sides in Irish Referendum Campaign on Lisbon Referendum, main points of Lisbon Treaty and analysis of reasons for voting for or against

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Lmu PméRev2

  1. 1. ISET European Interdisciplinary Seminar Series London Metropolitan University Autumn 2008 Transformations of Citizenship New Europe or the Return of the Repressed? Post-national Entities and Old Atavisms – the case of the Irish vote on the Lisbon Referendum 28 October 2008 Piaras Mac Éinrí University College Cork
  2. 12. Irish Society for Christian Civilisation Nine reasons for voting no (reason no 5) 5. The amended Treaties, for the first instance in an international juridical document, impose the parity between men and women in all areas Bending its knee before the radical feminist lobby, very active inside of the Convention which wrote the Charter of Fundamental Rights, its article 23 states that “Equality between women and men must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay”. Note clear evidence of translation from French source
  3. 21. People before Profit
  4. 23. Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA)
  5. 26. USA libertarian right
  6. 28. Cóir, again
  7. 29. European Parliament 19 June: Kathy Sinnott with UKIP colleagues
  8. 30. Progressive Democrats, right of centre member of Government
  9. 31. “ Ireland’s good (is) Europe’s good”
  10. 32. Labour Party website
  11. 33. Irish Business and Employers Confederation
  12. 34. Fianna Fáil, main party in Government
  13. 35. Youth Branch, Fine Gael, main opposition party
  14. 36. The Lisbon Treaty – main points I <ul><li>European Commission </li></ul><ul><li>From 2014 each member-state will only be allowed to nominate a commissioner for two out three terms (for 10 years out of 15). </li></ul><ul><li>In every commission at least one of the large states like Germany or the UK will not be represented </li></ul><ul><li>A High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy will sit on both commission and council of ministers to ensure greater coherence and continuity in the Union's external policies. </li></ul>
  15. 37. The Lisbon Treaty – main points II <ul><li>European Parliament </li></ul><ul><li>MEPs acquire new co-decision powers in over 30 areas of policy (in the areas in which ministers relinquish their veto). These new policy areas include extra powers in agriculture, asylum, immigration, judicial co-operation and measures relating to the internal market. </li></ul><ul><li>MEPs also granted equal say with Council over the EU budget. </li></ul><ul><li>In reducing the size of parliament from 785 to 751, Lisbon reduces Ireland's seats from 13 to 12. But representation remains heavily skewed towards the smaller states with Ireland having one seat for every 385,000 citizens and Germany, one per 854,000. </li></ul>
  16. 38. The Lisbon Treaty – main points III <ul><li>Council of Ministers and European Parliament </li></ul><ul><li>A new president of the European Council will be elected for terms of two and a half years. His/her function will be to chair meetings, co-ordinate work, and represent the EU internationally. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2014 the QMV system will be overhauled. To be approved legislation will have to achieve a &quot;double majority&quot; - 55 per cent of member-states must back it (with 27 member-states, a majority will require the support of 15), and they must represent 65 per cent of the EU's population. </li></ul><ul><li>Some 60 areas of policy will be moved from unanimity to majority (QMV) voting to ease decision-making. These include energy, asylum, immigration , judicial co-operation and sport. </li></ul><ul><li>The Council will share with the Commission the job of High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, to provide greater coherence and continuity in the Union's external actions. </li></ul>
  17. 39. The Lisbon Treaty – main points IV <ul><li>If, having failed to win backing from a majority of member-states , a group of member-states wish to collaborate on a project, they may be allowed to do so by a qualified majority (unanimity in the case of a foreign or security policy project). The project must be compatible with the objectives of the Union, and any member must be allowed to join the group subsequently. Under Lisbon a minimum of 9 states must be involved. </li></ul>
  18. 40. The Lisbon Treaty – main points V <ul><li>Fundamental Rights, new areas of competence </li></ul><ul><li>Lisbon gives legal effect given to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which enumerates the whole range of civil, political, economic and social rights of European citizens and all EU residents. </li></ul><ul><li>The EU gets for the first time a right to propose legislation in the areas of intellectual property rights, space policy, energy, tourism, sport, civil protection, and administrative co-operation. </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change and energy security are both prioritised. </li></ul><ul><li>The EU leaders could not agree to include a reference to God in the treaty but there is a reference to &quot;Europe's cultural, religious and humanist inheritance&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>Lisbon does not undermine the Irish 1992 Maastricht Treaty protocol confirming that nothing in the treaties shall affect the application in Ireland of the Constitution's anti-abortion provisions. </li></ul>
  19. 41. The Lisbon Treaty – main points VI <ul><li>Defence issues </li></ul><ul><li>Legal base for humanitarian aid and volunteer humanitarian aid corps created. </li></ul><ul><li>The EU &quot;will move&quot; towards a common defence policy, although only based on a unanimous decision and in conformity with states' constitutional requirements. The 26th amendment to Irish Constitution, approved during Nice II, prohibits Ireland from joining common defence arrangements and it remains unaffected. </li></ul><ul><li>Groups of states are permitted to move ahead on their own in integrating defence structures using a procedure called &quot;structured cooperation&quot;. Ireland can opt in or out. States encouraged to &quot;undertake progressively to improve their military capabilities&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>In case of state aggression, terrorist attack or disaster, EU states committed to act in a spirit of solidarity. Ireland can still decline a request for military assistance if this would breach its constitutional safeguards. </li></ul>
  20. 42. The Lisbon Treaty – main points VII <ul><li>Services </li></ul><ul><li>Lisbon boosts EU influence in the area of services of general economic interest such as electricity and telecoms by providing a legal base to introduce framework legislation. Protocol on services of general interest aims to clarify that national, regional and local authorities have wide discretion to provide, commission and organise public services. </li></ul><ul><li>New social clause will require commission to consider the social impact of any new legislative proposals. </li></ul><ul><li>Majority voting is to become the norm for ministers on issues relating to legislation on police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters; legal migration and integration of third-country nationals and visa matters </li></ul><ul><li>Ireland and UK are given right in a protocol to opt out, or in, of new laws regarding border checks, asylum, immigration and judicial co-operation in civil matters. </li></ul>
  21. 43. The Lisbon Treaty – main points VIII <ul><li>Parliament </li></ul><ul><li>National parliaments are given new powers to scrutinise EU legislation and proposals. Both the Daìl and the Seanad will get to see and consider all commission green and white papers, draft legislation, and the agendas and outcomes of ministerial meetings at the same time as they are sent to council members and MEPs. </li></ul><ul><li>If a third of national parliaments feels proposed legislation conflicts with the principle of subsidiarity - that decisions should be taken at the level closest to the citizen - it can be &quot;yellow carded&quot;, requiring the commission to reconsider its proposals. </li></ul>
  22. 44. Ireland and the EU: a positive story <ul><li>Net contributions since 1973: €55bn </li></ul><ul><li>For the funding period 2007-2013, Ireland will receive  Structural Funds of €750.72 million  : €375.36 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and €375.36 million from the European Social Fund (ESF). </li></ul><ul><li>Average income 1973: 62% of European average. Average now: 140% </li></ul><ul><li>Political, social, cultural effects </li></ul>
  23. 45. Referenda in Ireland <ul><li>Lisbon was the 28 th since 1937 </li></ul><ul><li>Government usually prevails, but not always </li></ul><ul><li>In this case all main parties took same line but case was still lost </li></ul>
  24. 46. The ‘Yes’ campaign <ul><li>All of the mainstream political parties, left and right, in Dáil Éireann except one – Sinn Féin. </li></ul><ul><li>Business sector </li></ul><ul><li>Most parts of organised labour </li></ul><ul><li>Official Churches neutral on the side of a ‘yes’ </li></ul><ul><li>Divided media; home grown mainstream mostly yes, UK-controlled tabloids mostly no </li></ul>
  25. 47. The ‘No’ campaign <ul><li>Sinn Féin </li></ul><ul><li>Far right/Catholic right including those concerned with ‘moral’ issues </li></ul><ul><li>Far left </li></ul><ul><li>Some parts of trade union movement </li></ul><ul><li>Campaigners in favour of neutrality, non-militarism </li></ul><ul><li>Libertas; a pro-American business stance? </li></ul><ul><li>‘ bottom-up’ activists and non-aligned </li></ul><ul><li>The disaffected, including the poujadiste faction </li></ul>
  26. 48. Results of Referendum <ul><li>Turnout: 53.13% </li></ul><ul><li>For: 46.42% </li></ul><ul><li>Against: 53.20% </li></ul><ul><li>Spoiled votes: 0.38% </li></ul>
  27. 66. Conclusions <ul><li>Disconnect between rulers and ruled </li></ul><ul><li>Disaffection and political anomie </li></ul><ul><li>Substantial numbers refuse the ‘new citizenship’ of Europe, although most, yes and no voters, have some belief in it </li></ul><ul><li>All but impossible in present climate to have Lisbon 2, but if we don’t, Ireland may become Iceland 2 </li></ul>
  28. 67. Conclusions II <ul><li>Nightmare scenario: semi-detached Ireland, Tory eurosceptic administration, return to ‘big state’ model </li></ul><ul><li>Ireland’s options not ‘EU’ v ‘independence’ </li></ul>
  29. 68. View of past Taoiseach <ul><li>For instance, the question of sovereignty has been mentioned. It surely must be clear to everybody who thinks at all that the right to do as you please is not consistent with any form of real collaboration and that the first thing States must be prepared to do, if they want to enter into a union that will be effective, is to face that question and to realise what indeed they do when they enter into treaties, that absolute sovereignty cannot be retained if there is to be agreement with others. I have always wondered why so much was made about this question of sovereignty. When you enter into a treaty, over the period in which the treaty is effective or lasts, you to that extent bind yourself not to follow your own sweet will but to do the things which you have contracted to do. I have always held that when this question of sovereignty is raised we ought quite flatly to tell everybody that sovereignty in the sense of being allowed to do as you please must go if there is to be any type of union. It is essential that it should go. It is inconsistent with union and with real co-operation and I see nothing derogatory in contracting to limit your sovereignty in the same way that other States are prepared to limit theirs. </li></ul><ul><li>Eamon de Valera, debate on entry into Council of Europe, 1949 12/07/49 </li></ul>