Vote No to Lisbon Treaty

People Before Profit Alliance

Anti-Lisbon groups plan to protest during Sarkozy’s visit

OPPOSITION TO a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was recently expressed by a coalition of left-wing campaign groups, which also announced plans to protest during French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s Irish visit this month.

“The Government is going to come back to EU leaders in October with a ‘solution’ to this problem and we reject this approach,” Brendan Young of the Campaign Against the EU Constitution said at a press conference in Dublin.

“We will campaign against any re-run of the Lisbon Treaty. We will seek the largest No vote if the Government dares to re-run a treaty that people believe is dead,” he added.

Richard Boyd Barrett of the Irish Anti-War Movement said it was “clear Brian Cowen does not respect the No vote”.

“If Cowen respected the No vote he would have gone to the European Council and said the decision is final. He is not saying that. He is trying to soften the Irish people up,” he said.

“It is unacceptable to ask us to vote a second time on the treaty,” Patricia McKenna of the People’s Movement said. “There is a misleading message being sent out that if we reject a second Lisbon Treaty referendum with some additions, we will be isolated.”

The Government was also criticised for disrespecting the No vote. “The Government is mandated by the Irish people not to renegotiate but to be part of a new direction for Europe,” Daithí Doolan of Sinn Féin said.

An immediate halt to ratification by other EU states was called for by the coalition which wants the EU to take a new political direction. “The idea that the EU can go ahead without Ireland is false and everyone knows it,” Ms McKenna said.

“It is not a change of emphasis we want but a root-and-branch reform,” Mr Doolan said. “People are looking for a more social Europe.”

Members of the coalition were also confident that there would be a stronger No vote a second time around and that there would be little support from lower ranks of mainstream political parties.

“With local elections coming up, many councillors do not want to go near a referendum,” Mr Doolan said.

“They would have to convince people they didn’t convince the last time around – it is difficult to sell the idea that it is worth doing a second time,” said Mr Young.

France takes over the presidency of the EU today. The group plans to hold a protest against the visit of Mr Sarkozy to Ireland on July 11th.

It is calling on him to respect the French and Dutch votes on the EU constitution and the Irish vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

“Mr Sarkozy with his Gaullist delusions is intent on getting the foreign policy and militarisation proposals through,” said Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party, referring to the French president as “Mr Neoliberalist himself”.

“We hope Sarkozy realises it is a mistake to find a way to force the treaty through,” Ms McKenna added. The coalition will also hold a public debate on the future direction of Europe on July 20th.

See www.caeuc.org

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July 2, 2008 - Posted by | Press Conference | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Vote online – still – at http://www.FreeEurope.info. This is an alternative, not sponsored from Brussels.

    Comment by Emma O'Ray | July 3, 2008 | Reply

  2. I feel very angry at the way that the European politicians are dismissing the Irish referendum, showing a contempt and a disregard for the democratic voice of the people here, this was one of the reasons why I voted no. I felt there was a disregard for the democratic process, we were told that the treaty could not go forward without ratification from all the countries obviously this means only if you are one of the large primary countries in the EU. Democracy is about everyone’s voice. I list below some of the issues that made me vote no, and why I will object to voting on this issue for a second time.

    1. Changing the voting system in many areas from consensus voting to qualified majority voting using population size as part of its criteria (this favours the large countries) and at the same time reducing what is an important voice for small countries on EU legislation by having a commissioner for only 10 out of every 15 years. This is a risky move with regards to all member state.
    2. In the structural decision-making there are too many working parties of undisclosed people who have not been elected and are not answerable to the general population of Europe for their action. Many of the decision and actions of these group are not done in an open forum and are difficult, if not impossible to access, so that we can ascertain whether they are working for the people of the EU or for corporate institution etc
    3. In regards to Neutrality, while the Irish might not have to actually fight in any war. I do know though that money from our taxes will be used to fund armaments. This to me means we are compromised and no longer a neutral country.
    4. Many of the parties said that democracy was not an issue, in the Lisbon treaty; to my mind it is the most important issue. I myself would have been happy to remain a Community of Europe (this is what we originally went into Europe for). But I do think that an United States of Europe is the way that we are going and therefore I think it is very important to make sure that in the basic legal structure of this U.S.E has at its core a democratic structure, perhaps not unlike the two house USA model with its elected representatives. This is going to be a situation, which our grandchildren will have to deal with and I would hate to think that we were leaving them a state where their civil rights were greatly diminished.
    5. The main political parties said that voting No might endanger the EU; I do not believe this to be the situation. I believe that if the Irish keep a cool head and think clearly that our voting No will make the MEP and all the others with in the greater European union think more deeply about what they are getting involved in. Perhaps if they act rather then react to the Irish NO vote, they will realise that they need to go back to the drawing board and rewrite the treaty. Hopefully this time not treating the public with such contempt and producing a document which will create a better Europe, not a Europe that is seriously deficit as a democratic entity.
    Aoife

    Comment by Aoife FitzGerald | July 19, 2008 | Reply


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