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Lisbon Treaty: Three Strikes, You’re Out

category international | eu | feature author Wednesday August 12, 2009 19:37author by Harry Van Bommel - Dutch Socialist Party Report this post to the editors

An Article Written Especially for Indymedia.ie by Harry Van Bommel, European Affairs Spokesman of the Dutch Socialist Party

featured image
Harry Van Bommel

In 2005 the Dutch people overwhelmingly said ‘no’ to the constitutional treaty, just as the French had done some days before. In contrast to the Irish, this was the first time the Dutch people had been allowed a say about the future of Europe; and they made it clear that they didn’t like the way it was heading. Did they want to get out of the EU? No - the Dutch are big supporters of EU membership, just like the Irish, but they don’t want Europe to develop into a federal superstate.

Instead of changing the EU’s direction, our government [the Dutch government] insisted on changing the appearance of the treaty, which was blamed for the ‘misunderstanding’ by the Dutch people. All the governments of the European Union’s member states pitched in to offer to help the Dutch and others to avoid new referenda. Our government took the unilateral decision that no new referendum was needed, because now, stripped of its symbols and re-baptised as the ‘Lisbon Treaty’, the treaty was no longer deemed ‘constitutional’. My own parliamentary initiative for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was stranded by a blockade of the governing coalition parties.

Luckily the Irish constitution is better at protecting its citizens against the giving away of their country’s sovereign power by its politicians than is ours, in that it makes a referendum on the treaty obligatory. Sovereignty is not something to be given and taken away by politicians, but belongs to the people. Even the recent ruling of the German Federal Supreme Court forces the German Government to make arrangements to secure the power of the country’s parliament against the changes made by the Lisbon Treaty. As it rightly states, the European Parliament is no substitute for the national parliaments, which are the primary representatives of their people. Handing the European Parliament more powers is no excuse for taking them away from national parliaments.

But the EU doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer - not from the French, not from the Dutch and not from the Irish. So, after you wisely said ‘no’ to the treaty, a new scam was organised. On all the justifiable worries of the Irish people - on the threat of a European influence on taxation, abortion law, social provision, and neutrality in time of war, texts have now been produced which say bluntly that the Irish people should not worry and were wrong all the time. When I asked our prime minister what these guarantees would change in the Lisbon Treaty, his reply was that the Irish government had agreed that "all guarantees would be in keeping with the Lisbon Treaty." The demand from other member states was, in so many words, "no special status for Ireland when it comes to the question of neutrality." But how can Ireland be neutral while at the same time troops operate abroad under an EU flag and therefore also in the name of Ireland, a practice that will increase should the Lisbon Treaty be adopted?

To win over the Irish people, the European Commission has also launched this year a multimillion dollar ‘information’ campaign. This is nothing but one-sided propaganda at the expense of the taxpayer.

So again the Irish people may vote - on exactly the same treaty. On the last occasion the Irish people voted in the name of all other European peoples, including the Dutch, who were deemed by their own politicians unfit to judge the treaty. Now, the Irish may not only vote on the Lisbon Treaty a.k.a. the Constitutional Treaty, but also have the chance to send a message to all the European leaders: that power belongs to the people, and when they say ‘no’ it means ‘no’. After the rejection of the treaty by the French and Dutch, and last year by the Irish people, this third time I have trust that the Irish will say, in relation to the Lisbon Treaty: three strikes - you’re out.

Related Link: http://international.sp.nl/

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Good article     pasa    Wed Aug 12, 2009 15:06 
   Good Europeans Vote No     Quint    Wed Aug 12, 2009 23:43 
   Make Shannon airport and neutrality the focus of Lisbon NO campaign from now to 5 October     Edward Horgan    Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:48 
   Fraud suspected with stuffed ballot boxes.     Joan    Sat Aug 15, 2009 20:34 
   The Lisbon Treaty is outmoded, outdated and useless against the Recession     NoAgain    Sun Aug 16, 2009 08:55 
   Fighting Fiction     FictionFighter    Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:23 
   Fiction fighter......     Idiocracy    Tue Aug 18, 2009 15:50 
   Indymedia and expression of the views of an informed public     Ocean waves Lisbon    Tue Aug 18, 2009 17:03 
   knowledge economy my hole!     Cassandra    Tue Aug 18, 2009 18:36 
 10   Totally Confused     Miriam    Wed Sep 02, 2009 15:37 
 11   Plague on all their houses     No voter    Wed Sep 02, 2009 15:55 
 12   "Last Chance Saloon" for Real Democracy     Jake    Thu Sep 03, 2009 19:31 
 13   Neutrality     rjp    Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:14 
 14   Treaty allows killing of protesters     ConcernedGerman    Sat Sep 05, 2009 20:01 
 15   Democracy not Kleptocracy     Fame97    Sun Sep 06, 2009 18:55 

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