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Westmeath - Event Notice
Sunday March 09 2008

The Lisbon Treaty : The Renamed EU Constitution

category westmeath | eu | event notice author Sunday March 09, 2008 20:11author by June Kellyauthor email june_kelly_2 at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Public Meeting

PUBLIC MEETING

Thursday 27th March, 8pm
Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar

THE LISBON TREATY:
THE RENAMED EU CONSTITUTION

Speakers: Patricia McKenna (Former Green Party MEP)
Frank Keoghan (Secretary People’s Movement)
Chairperson: Betty Doran (Green Party)

Further details: 0861963134

Visit: www.people.ie

PUBLIC MEETING
Thursday 27th March, 8pm
Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar
THE LISBON TREATY:
THE RENAMED EU CONSTITUTION

Speakers: Patricia McKenna (Former Green Party MEP)
Frank Keoghan (Secretary People’s Movement)
Chairperson: Betty Doran (Green Party)

Further details: 0861963134
Visit: www.people.ie

The People’s Movement is a non-party-political movement that seeks to extend popular sovereignty and to promote democratic values in Irish life. It opposes EU supranational control at all levels of society and seeks to counteract its dominance in Irish political life.
Patrons: Robert Ballagh, Alderman Declan Bree, Raymond Deane, Terence P.McCaughey, Finian McGrath TD, Professor John Maguire, Dervla Murphy
Secretary: Frank Keoghan (087 2308330 info@people.ie
___________________________________________________________________________

ARTICLE BY PATRICIA McKENNA ON LISBON TREATY
UCD MAGAZINE - February 2008

To argue that those opposed to the Lisbon Treaty are anti-European is to do a great disservice to our struggle to achieve a more democratic, accountable and transparent EU. On the contrary, I believe that many of those who oppose this and indeed previous treaties, which failed to address the much talked of “democratic deficit” in any meaningful way, are in fact the true Europeans. EU leaders openly admit that they have taken the rejected EU constitution and renamed and repackaged it in an unreadable format.

The ‘father’ of the constitution, Giscard D'Estaing said: "Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly... All the earlier proposals will be in a new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way...What was [already] difficult to understand will become utterly incomprehensible, but the substance has been retained."

Political leaders also admit that they will not allow their people a vote on the Lisbon Treaty because they know it will be rejected. French president Nicolas Sarkozy says: "France was just ahead of all the other countries in voting No. "It would happen in all member states if they have a referendum. There is a cleavage between people and governments...A referendum now would bring Europe into danger. There will be no treaty if we had a referendum in France, which would again be followed by a referendum in the UK." So basically what we have is fundamental change without the consent of the citizens.

The Lisbon Treaty is a fundamental shift of power from the small to the big EU States, and from National Parliaments to non-elected EU committees – the EU Commission, Council of Ministers and Court of Justice. The EU Parliament gets some increase in power, but at the expense of National Parliaments.

The new voting system for adopting EU laws on the Council of Ministers will make population size the key criterion and will give the Big States (Germany 82 million) huge control of the new EU. Our voting influence will drop from 2% to 0.8%.

Coupled with this is the proposal that the Irish people will be deprived of the right to be represented in the EU Commission, the body that has the monopoly of proposing all EU laws, for one third of the time. These two changes will have a devastating effect on our power to defend our interests when EU laws are made.

Lisbon would also take away from us the right to decide who the Irish Commissioner is, for our right to propose an Irish name and insist on its accepted by the other Member States would be replaced by a right to make "suggestions" only, suggestions that could be rejected.

The Treaty will remove over 60 remaining national vetoes and will give the EU power to make laws binding on us in such new areas as civil and criminal law, justice and policing, immigration, public services, energy, sport, culture, space, public heath and the EU budget.

The much hyped Charter of Fundamental Rights will rely on the European Court of Justice to rule in favour of citizens or workers and as we know from recent Court judgements these rights will not be fundamental at all but varied or restricted in the interests of a “common organization of the market’ or to advance “objectives of general interest pursued by the Community”.

In the context of peace and disarmament, the treaty obliges Ireland to build up its military capacities while consolidating the European Defense Agency, whose purpose is to promote the arms industries. It allows for EU military operations without a UN mandate. It also includes a mutual defense clause (Article 28A.7.), marking the transition of the EU from what had been primarily an organisation founded on an economic pact to one founded on both a military and an economic pact.

Protocol 12 of the Lisbon Treaty would bind us to support the aims of the pro-nuclear Euratom Treaty. It links the provisions of the Euratom Treaty to Lisbon and applies the financial provisions of the Union to Euratom, binding EU member states to “create the conditions necessary for the speedy establishment and growth of nuclear industries” while “facilitating investment to develop nuclear energy”. So, for the first time, these provisions are legally and constitutionally binding on those member states that accept Lisbon.

Will there be any more EU referenda in Ireland if Lisbon, is passed? There is certainly no guarantee, for Lisbon would give the EU all the powers a European Superstate needs for the foreseeable future.

Lisbon is a self-amending Treaty in that it contains a "simplified revision procedure” allowing the Prime Ministers and Presidents to change from unanimity to majority voting over large areas of the Treaty without the need for new treaties or referendums. A National Parliament could object to this, but if Prime Ministers want something badly enough they can usually get their Parliaments to go along, as is shown by how they are ratifying the Treaty itself.

This could open the way for the EU to move to abolish our low tax on companies and decide other taxes here. The Big EU States like Germany and France clearly want to do this.

Prudence suggests that we do not assume there will be future EU referendums. The Supreme Court upheld the late Raymond Crotty's contention that referendums were required on EU Treaties on one point only: which was, that the new Foreign Policy part of the 1987 Single European Act was bringing the EEC into a completely new sphere of action which had not been contemplated when the Irish people voted to join in 1972.

But the Supreme Court decided that the original permission the people gave the State to join the EEC was wide enough to allow other extensions of supranational powers. Such surrender, the Court held, was part and parcel of the 'dynamic' changes that one could expect the EEC to undergo as time passed.

With this Treaty the ambit of the European Union will be made so broad that it is unlikely that any Irish citizen as brave as Mr Crotty could convince the Supreme Court that a referendum would be needed on future EU changes.
________Ends

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
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