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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Irish EU Sceptics and the Lisbon Treaty

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, speaking in Ireland in on April 17, 2008

The purpose of the European Union's Lisbon Treaty signed by the Heads of State or Government of the 27 Member States in Lisbon on 13 December 2007 is to streamline decision making following the enlargement to encompass most European countries.

The development of the European Union and the Euro currency have been remarkable achievements and in both 1957 on the signing of the Treaty of Rome and on January 1, 1999, the sceptics were not in short supply.

There was another development in Europe that merits superlatives and it is linked to the Lisbon Treaty.

For most of the period since the end of the Second World War, the people of Eastern Europe lived under the jackboot of communism. People were shot dead if they tried to leave their countries without official authorisation.

Eaten bread is soon forgotten and in the years that German taxpayers in particular provided funding for Irish agriculture and infrastructure investment, it was inconceivable that for example Poland would in the not too distant future, become a member of what was then known as the European Economic Community.

There can be no agreement by 27 countries that is akin to a utopia.

If there is a heaven, then there may be perfection but human progress involves compromise unless it's the old law of the jungle that applies.

Some saw the value of compromise in Ireland in 1921; others saw bloodshed as worth trading for more sovereignty - but what small nation ever had absolute sovereignty? In the North, thousands had to die in recent decades, before a compromise could be reached.

There is a polygot group opposed to the European Union's Lisbon Treaty. There are those at one end of the spectrum, who have always been opposed to the European Community/EU e,g the Green Party and its hierarchy until last June.

Sovereignty is often one of the issues that is raised as a concern, usually by individuals who are in protected jobs as distinct from the international tradable goods and services sector.

Recently, independent Iceland raised its benchmark interest rate to 15.5% and asked other Nordic central banks for support. So is Ireland better off in the Eurozone?

More than 90% of our exports are made by foreign-owned firms - so much for nit-picking on the issue of sovereignty.

Neutrality is another issue that gets some people worked up as if we were ever really neutral.

At the other end of the spectrum, is the Irish Farmers' Association, which is seeking to protect what is a very generous welfare system - the Common Agricultural Policy.

In 2013, Ireland will become a net contributor to the EU Budget after 40 years of membership.

"I want to remind the British commissioner that there is a strong link between his WTO concessions and the Lisbon Treaty," IFA President Padraig Walshe said. About 70% of Walshe's income comes directly from European treasuries.

The "British" commissioner Peter Mandelson is up to some nefarious plot but Walshe has no problem with handouts from British, German and Dutch taxpayers.

Walshe accused the commissioner of displaying "breath-taking arrogance" in demanding people vote for the Lisbon Treaty, when the "undeniable fact" was the WTO deal would wipe out 50,000 farmers and cost the economy €4bn.

There are about 40,000 full time Irish farmers and whatever about the "undeniable fact," you will never hear Walshe complaining about the land rezoning system that makes multimillionaires of farmers with land that has development potential.

Some of the wealthiest farmers are getting cash payments of €10,000 each week and the IFA has no problem with a system where the richer get the lion's share.

It's a pity that we in Ireland cannot modernise our governance systems that have been largely unchanged since the 1930's. We have a "messenger-boy" system of local clientism that makes it difficult for women to participate in elective politics. Our parliament is shuttered for five months each year.

So rather than worrying about democratic deficits in Brussels, we should reform our own systems first and then the finger-pointing could have more legitimacy.

Remarkable Decades of Change in World but Irish System of Governance Immutable to Reform

Ireland's 40-year bonanza of foreign aid from the European Union will amount to €41 billion by the time we become a net contributor in 2013


  • Good hearted women and men of ireland. Please do our european continent a favor and vote NO to the lisbon treaty.

    I ask your help for us all from germany. Most people in the 27 country's are NOT AGAINST the european union but AGAINST an EU of the big businesses. Against an antidemocratic if not to say a faschist EU which do not care about their people. Wich do not care about our children and which do not care about peace.

    They only care about foreign ressources which they want to "secure" for europe by means of war if neccessary.

    They will send our children into dead, just to save their profits.

    Again, good people of ireland. Remind your history as a strong and free nation and as well remind your responsibility for every other european nation who don't have the opportunity to vote about their future.

    God bless you..

    By Anonymous James Connolly, at June 11, 2008 10:28 PM  

  • Message to irish people about Lisbon treaty:

    Lisbon treaty seems to be totally strange and deleting democracy or human rights?


    I’ve read an article which states that police gets rights to shoot people in some situations.

    These kind of things are totalitarian politics.

    It also propably stops right to go on strike.


    And all this in whole Europe…

    It is sad to notice that all other countries have accepted this treaty, but many governments have not even given people chance to vote about it.

    Irish government has given you this right,…anyway it is really strange that Ireland maybe votes again about this, and only after few months?(or 2009?)

    EU elite needs this YES, and they have ordered new voting?

    If this is true it shows how horrible secret elite rules EU, and what can we expect from the future?
    Lisbon treaty is basicly giving ‘Gestapo’-laws to EU-government, if needed?

    And they seem to need those laws fast?

    Vote NO, and save the world?

    F.ex. in many european countries media and politicians has almost 100% ignored discussions about this subject, and people are not even aware about whole thing?

    It is also good to remember that USA has now similar ‘martial laws’ there, after 11th september 2001… ?

    EU security officials decide about all security matters of whole EU?

    Also there is some things which makes it very difficult for normal people to complain and get things corrected if there is wrongful handlings?

    I hope I am wrong, but this whole thing , and how it has been handled seems really wrong? And it is not a democratic way to handle politics.?



    I am harassed so much all the time that this writing may include errors.

    -Tore Toivicco

    Now also EU web-censorship?


    Give us back our democracy, instead of "word-press fascism?"!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 04, 2009 3:10 PM  

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