Voting on exact same Lisbon Treaty
the Government is engaged in a cynical exercise of political manipulation. Speaking on behalf of the People’s Movement, which successfully campaigned against ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in last year’s referendum, McKenna said “these so-called ‘Legal Guarantees’ on the Lisbon Treaty are nothing more than an exercise in creative manipulation designed to mislead the public. This fact was even recognised by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin who after EU foreign ministers met in Luxembourg recently, said, “The impetus from other member states is to be helpful, creative and try to resolve these issues … We are quietly confident and hopeful,”
“What the Minister really means is that Legal guarantees on the Lisbon Treaty are just a creative way of giving people a feeling of legal certainty which does not and cannot exist.” Said McKenna
July 8th, 2009
Government’s claim that pressure was put on EU to accommodate Ireland is utter nonsense, says McKenna
The claim by government, during today’s Dail debate, that “pressure was put on the other EU members to accommodate Irish voters' concerns” on the Lisbon Treaty, is a total distortion of reality, according to former MEP, Patricia McKenna. McKenna who is Chairperson of the People’s Movement, one of the leading groups campaigning for rejection of the treaty, said “The Government from the outset refused to seek any changes to the Lisbon Treaty after Irish voters rejected it last year. Instead it conspired with other EU Leaders to get the treaty ratified without any changes and that is exactly what is happening. All the Government sought and got are ‘political assurance’ - dressed up in the deceptive terminology of ‘legal guarantees’.
She said, “the so-called legally binding guarantees which the government claim they fought hard to secure do not change one single aspect of the Lisbon Treaty all they do is reiterate the same assurances given by EU leaders during the first referendum. These assurances given by the Yes side were not enough to convince people to vote in favour of the treaty first time around and will I hope be dismissed by the voters with the same mistrust in October.”
McKenna, went on to say: “Not one single word of the Lisbon Treaty will be altered by these guarantees, which is why they do not need to be ratified by the national parliaments of the 27 member states. They are nothing more than an interpretation by EU heads of government as to what they think the Lisbon Treaty means. However, if the Lisbon Treaty comes into force, it will be the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg, which will interpret Lisbon. The EU court is the only body authorized under the European treaties to interpret the treaties themselves and decide how they should be applied. The political decision and agreement of a particular group of EU prime ministers and presidents, which is what we are being presented with, cannot and will not decide what Lisbon means.
The ‘decision’ of the European Council that certain provisions of the Lisbon Treaty mean specific things is just an agreement between 27 heads of government as to what they believe to be the case. This ‘decision’ is not an international treaty between states because it does not require and will not go through the ratification process of all 27-member states through approval in their national parliaments. This is the normal process for ratifying international treaties and it is clear that without such a legally binding ratification process the ‘legal guarantees’ do not have this legal status.
What is clear from today’s debate is that he Government is giving a totally misleading significance to the promise that these ‘guarantees’ will be incorporated as a protocol to the EU treaties at some future date “This promise of a ‘protocol’ at a future date is irrelevant because once the new EU established under Lisbon comes into force then no protocol can pull back from what Lisbon has established and it will be the EU Court of Justice that will decide what the Treaty means once it comes into force.”
“Apart from the right of each Member State to hold on to their Commissioner, agreed without altering the Lisbon Treaty, nothing has changed within the text of the Lisbon Treaty itself since the last vote. The Government should be honest with the voters and tell them the truth instead of using propaganda and scare tactics about being at the heart of Europe. This is not about EU membership and whether we voted yes or no last time the economic crisis in Ireland would be the same.” Concluded McKenna