Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Irish concerns

by rz Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 08:58:56 AM EST

Sinn Fein has now presented a list of demands which have to be met in order to gain their support in a second referendum. This should be the list in full (taken from this article):


  • The retention of a permanent commissioner for all member states;
  • The retention of the Nice Treaty formulae [sic] for qualified majority voting;
  • The removal of all eight self-amending articles including the simplified revision procedure in Article 48;
  • The removal of Article 46a giving the EU a single legal personality;
  • A strengthened protocol on the role of member state parliaments;
  • A significantly expanded protocol on the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality including the aims and values of the EU;
  • Substantial amendments to aspects of the Common Foreign and Security Policy;
  • Substantial amendments to the section of Common Defence and Security Policy;
  • A new protocol on neutrality;
  • A strengthened social clause;
  • A substantially revised protocol on vital public services;
  • Amendments to articles dealing with public services and state aid;
  • The inclusion of the European Trade Union Confederation Social Progress Clause to protect workers' rights;
  • A protocol on Irish tax sovereignty;
  • Substantial amendments on Article 188 dealing with international trade agreements including a cast-iron veto on mixed World Trade Organisation agreements;
  • A new protocol ending Ireland's participation in the European Atomic Energy Community;
  • A series of amendments to Articles 10 and 188 promoting the needs of the developing world in the context of international trade.

If you look at the points "every country a commissioner", "keeping all veto rights", "Nice formula for qualified majority voting" it becomes clear that they reject the very substance of the Lisbon Treaty, and is unlikely that these demands can be met. I also wonder what the British Eurosceptics, who belive that they have super strong allies in the Irish no-campaign, think about "The inclusion of the European Trade Union Confederation Social Progress Clause".

A much shorter list on the major concerns of Irish voters has be presented by Taoiseach Brian Cowen:

  • World trade talks.
  • Suggestions of tax harmonisation.
  • Loss of a commissioner.
  • Change in Ireland's voting strength.
  • Lack of democratic accountability of the EU high representative and president of the council.
  • Possible European Court of Justice rulings on areas like abortion and euthanasia.
  • Insufficient workers' rights.
  • Defence policy.
A very good analysis of each of these points can be found at Jon Worths Euroblog.


Display:
Looks like Sinn Fein has done a better job on the homework than Cowen.

Marie
by marie on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 04:50:56 PM EST
Cowen summarised what he identified as the major concerns of voters. Sinn Fein simply published a laundry list of their most favorite topics.
by rz on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 05:05:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, Sinn Fein can only speak for themselves, not for all the 55% that voted no.

Is Cowen's list a fair representation of the common denominator to all the groups opposed to Lisbon?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 05:09:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cowen's list is too general to be complete. SF's is getting down to the finer points that need to be worked on. So far I like theirs more. If Cowen would be more specific, I'd like to be able to consider those. Cowen is not going to be able to get away with murkiness here.

Marie
by marie on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 06:23:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it is as den has already said in another comment. They only want to look constructive, but have chosen demands which can simply not be met.  
by rz on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 06:29:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
too general to be complete

That's exactly it: the common denominator as opposed to the sum total of the demands of all the different groups who opposed the treaty.

Might as well retain the treaty of Nice.

By the way, the bit about subsidiarity and proportionality goes against your desire that the EU get involved in things like protecting the national cultural heritage as in Tara.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 06:36:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don´t forget that Sinn Fein opposed Nice as well.  This is the opening shot in a negotiation Sinn Fein do not have a mandate to take part in.  It sets the scene for their rejection of whatever Cowen comes back with.  Sinn Fein don´t want a success in this negotiation - they want a failure they can use as a stick to beat Cowen with at the next election - and a way forward to become the official opposition in Ireland.  They might well succed in this objective - as Fine Gael - and to an extent, labour, hardly have a raison détre anymore - they are but clinging on by force of historical memory that is rapidly fading.

gotta run - i,m on the move - sorry for hit and run comment.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 23rd, 2008 at 05:30:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they opposed Nice but they can't strike that one down.

I think the EU should implement the rules in the Treaty of nice that say that the EU will have less than 27 Commissioners by having 26 and not having an Irish one. After all, Ireland sent none other than Charlie McCreepy to Brussels... Better not give them the chance to outdo themselves... :-P

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 23rd, 2008 at 05:47:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
McCreepy was dumped to Europe when he became unpopular in Ireland - because of his neo-lib tendencies.  Depriving Ireland of its European dumping ground would make the EU even more unpopular....

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 27th, 2008 at 01:43:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, off the bat here are the demands I don't want the Spanish government to agree to

  • The removal of all eight self-amending articles including the simplified revision procedure in Article 48;
  • The removal of Article 46a giving the EU a single legal personality;
  • Substantial amendments to aspects of the Common Foreign and Security Policy;
These are having their cake and eating it, too:

  • Substantial amendments to aspects of the Common Foreign and Security Policy;
  • Substantial amendments to the section of Common Defence and Security Policy;
  • A new protocol on neutrality;
If Ireland gets a protocol on neutrality, why do they need to amend the CFSP and the Defence and Security Policy? Might as well opt out of them with the protocol.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 05:07:44 PM EST
Yes, I guess they would try to hard wire certain things they like into the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Now clearly this is completly unacceptable and there is no way any government can agree to that.
by rz on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 05:22:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"These are having their cake and eating it"

Spot on. They want to ensure that there is no risk that all their demands might actually be met. Their primary aim is to appear constructive ("look, we present clear proposals") and yet ensure that there is no risk that they might actually have to support a compromise proposal.

by det on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 05:29:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't that what De Valera did to Michael Collins?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 05:33:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the article where I found the demands of Sinn Fein the author Sinn Fein MEP Mary Lou McDonald also wrote (emphasis mine)

We argued that the Lisbon Treaty would deepen the democratic deficit by removing Ireland's permanent commissioner, reducing our voting strength at council, removing or weakening key strategic vetoes, such as on taxation and international trade, and by giving the European Council the power to amend the fundamental laws of the union.

So "democracy" here means veto rights, and a council voting system which is completly unproportional to the population of a country.

by rz on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 05:16:33 PM EST
And it also means strengthening the most undemocratic, opaque and least trusted EU institution: the EU Council.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 05:25:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]