éirígí, believing as it does that Irish political and economic control should be under the collective jurisdiction of the Irish people rejects the European Union’s proposed Lisbon Treaty and encourages people to bin the treaty by voting No in the upcoming Twenty-Six County referendum.
If implemented, the Lisbon Treaty will mark the latest sell-off of the limited independence that Ireland secured with the 1921 British withdrawal from the Twenty-Six Counties. It will also ensure that Twenty-Six County legislation, labour practices and political and military alliances will be further ‘harmonised’ on a EU-wide basis. This ‘harmonisation’ will, without doubt, be designed to protect and promote the political and economic interests of the most powerful states within the EU.
The Treaty itself is a cynical re-draft of the EU Constitution, which was rejected by the electorates of France and the Netherlands in referenda in 2005. The reformed (Lisbon) Treaty includes many of the most reactionary provisions of that Constitution, but bypasses the need for democratic accountability by referenda in many member states.
This was confirmed by the German chancellor Angela Merkel in June 2007 when she stated; “The substance of the constitution is preserved. That is a fact.”
The Lisbon Treaty will, if implemented, adversely affect the lives of half a billion people in 27 separate states. To date only the electorate of the Twenty-Six Counties have been permitted a vote on the Treaty, with the people of the Six Counties being denied a vote due to the British occupation.
éirígí believes that this scenario places a special onus on the electorate of the southern state to reject the Treaty, not only in the interests of all the people of Ireland, but also on behalf of the people of Europe, who are being denied a voice at this crucial juncture.
The Treaty, if implemented, will entail:
- Further militarisation of the EU, with each member state contributing to an overall EU military capacity, which will work in close conjunction with NATO – effectively ending the concept of Irish neutrality.
- The removal of national vetoes in around 50 policy areas and an extension of the areas under which decisions are taken by qualified majority, particularly in policing and judicial affairs.
- A reduction in the number of commissioners from 27 to 18, with the simultaneous strengthening of the role of president of the European Commission.
- The recognition of the EU as having a legal personality, entitling the EU to conclude, in its own right, agreements and treaties in the name of all member states.
- A reduction in the voting strength of the Twenty-Six Counties, and other smaller states, thus giving more power to larger states.
- The primacy of European law over national law, even if in contravention of the Twenty-Six County constitution.
- The harmonisation of ‘market policy’, paving the way for the further encroachment of neo-liberal, ‘free’ market economics across the EU.
Anybody who is any doubt about the extent of the anti-democratic changes planned for the citizens of Europe should keep an eye on the expostulations of its leading statespeople. Here are just two of their opinions on the rights of European citizens:
"The good thing about not calling it a Constitution is that no one can ask for a referendum on it" - Giuliano Amato, former Italian Prime Minister and Vice-Chairman of the Convention Constitution, speech at London School of Economics, February 21 2007.
"Of course there will be transfers of sovereignty. But would it be intelligent to draw the attention of public opinion to this fact?" - Jean Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Daily Telegraph, July 3 2007.
The Lisbon Treaty clearly centralises more powers and competencies in an embryonic EU super-state through the reduction of national vetoes and the autonomy of individual states. In the Irish context this diminution of national sovereignty will lead to a further erosion of independence, democracy and neutrality.
éirígí will be highly active in encouraging people to vote No to Lisbon and begin the fight back against the many and varied attacks on Irish national sovereignty.
We appeal to all those who share our concerns to get involved in the campaign.