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13 things the Lisbon Treaty would do

category national | eu | feature author Thursday July 09, 2009 20:29author by O. O'C. - National Platform EU Research & Information Centreauthor email info at nationalplatform dot orgauthor address 24 Crawford Ave. Dublin 9author phone 01 8305792 Report this post to the editors

A summary explanatory document on Lisbon

featured image
EU Flag modified for the No to Lisbon Treaty campaign

The Lisbon Treaty will result in: A big-state power grab; copperfastening Laval; permitting direct EU taxes; exclusive power regarding foreign direct investment, & Court power to harmonise; abolishing right to propose Commissioner; establishing an EU Federal State; requiring citizen loyalty; power to decide our rights; abolishing veto, binding us in 32 new policy areas; reducing National Parliament power; a self-amending treaty; enabling politicians over voters and militarizing EU. Thats all we know about so far, there may well be even more.

The Lisbon Treaty ...

1. Would be a power-grab by the Big States for control of the EU by basing EU law-making post-Lisbon primarily on population size. This would double Germany's voting power in making European laws from its present 8% to 17%, increase Britain's, France's and Italy's from 8% to 12% each, and halve Ireland's vote to 0.8%. How does having 0.8% of a vote in making EU laws put Ireland "at the heart of Europe" ? Taoiseach Brian Cowen's "guarantees" do not explain how having half as much influence in the EU as Ireland has today would induce the other Member States to listen to our concerns on unemployment and help to resolve the economic crisis in the interest of Irish companies, workers and farmers.

2.Would copperfasten the Laval and related judgements of the EU Court of Justice, which put the competition rules of the EU market above the rights of Trade Unions to enforce pay standards higher than the minimum wage for migrant workers. At the same time Lisbon would give the EU full control of immigration policy (Art.79 TFEU).

3. Would permit the post-Lisbon EU to impose Europe-wide taxes directly on us for the first time without need of further Treaties or referendums (Art.311 TFEU).

4. Would amend the existing treaties to give the EU exclusive power as regards rules on foreign direct investment (Arts.206-7 TFEU) and give the Court of Justice the power to order the harmonisation of national indirect taxes if it decides that this causes a "distortion of competition" in the market (Art.113 TFEU). These changes could undermine our 12.5% corporation profits tax, which is the principal attraction of Ireland for foreign business.

5. Would abolish our present right to "propose" and decide who Ireland's Commissioner is, by replacing it with a right to make "suggestions" only, leaving it up to the incoming Commission President to decide (Art.17.7 TEU). Our No vote last year secured us a commitment to a permanent Commissioner, but what is the point of every EU State continuing to have its own Commissioner post-Lisbon when it can no longer decide who that Commissioner will be?

6. Would give the European Union the Constitution of an EU Federal State which would have primacy over the Irish and other national Constitutions. This post-Lisbon EU would for the first time be legally separate from and superior to its 27 Member States and would sign international treaties with other States in all areas of its powers (Arts.1 and 47 TEU; Declaration 17 concerning Primacy). In constitutional terms Lisbon would thereby turn Ireland into a regional or provincial state within this new Federal-style European Union, with the EU's Constitution and laws having legal primacy over the Irish Constitution and laws in any cases of conflict between the two.

7. Would turn us into real citizens for the first time of this new post-Lisbon European Union, owing obedience to its laws and loyalty to its authority over and above our obedience and loyalty to Ireland and the Irish Constitution and laws in the event of any conflict between the two. We would still keep our Irish citizenship, but it would be subordinate to our new EU citizenship and the rights and duties vis-a-vis the EU that would attach to that(Art.9 TEU).

8. Would give the EU Court of Justice the power to decide our rights as EU citizens by making the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding for the first time (Art.6 TEU). This would give power to the EU judges to use their case law to lay down a uniform standard of rights for the 500 million citizens of the post-Lisbon Union in the name of a common EU citizenship in the years to come. It would open the possibility of clashes with national human rights standards in sensitive areas where Member States differ from one another at present, e.g. trial by jury, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, habeas corpus, the legalisation of hard drugs, euthanasia, abortion, labour law, succession law, marriage law, children's rights etc. Ireland's Supreme Court and the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights would no longer have the final say on what our rights are.

9. Would abolish the national veto Ireland has at present by handing over to the EU the power to make laws binding on us in 32 new policy areas, including public services, crime, justice and policing, immigration, energy, transport, tourism, sport, culture, public health, the EU budget and international measures on climate change.

10. Would reduce the power of National Parliaments to make laws in relation to 49 policy areas or matters, and increase the influence of the European Parliament in making EU laws in 19 new areas (See euabc.eu for the two lists).

11. Would be a self-amending Treaty which would permit the EU Prime Ministers and Presidents to shift most remaining EU policy areas where unanimity is required and a national veto still exists - for example on tax harmonisation - to qualified majority voting on the EU Council of Ministers, without need of further EU Treaties or referendums (Art.48 TEU).

12. Would enable the 27 EU Prime Ministers to appoint an EU President for up to five years without allowing voters any say as to who he or she would be - thereby abolishing the present six-monthly rotating EU presidencies (Art.15.5 TEU).

13. Would militarize the EU further, requiring Member States "progressively to improve their military capabilities" (Art.42.3 TEU) and to aid and assist other Member States experiencing armed attack "by all the means in their power" (Art.42.7 TEU).

TEU = Treaty on European Union as amended by the Lisbon Treaty
TFEU = Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union as amended by the Lisbon Treaty
euabc.eu = Website http://euabc.eu -ABC of the EU.

The euabc.eu site also has a PDF with reader friendly annonations of the TEU and TFEU. See: The Lisbon Treaty - The consolidated reader-friendly edition of the treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon

Related Link: http://www.nationalplatform.org/?p=342
author by Robertpublication date Thu Jul 09, 2009 23:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Lisbon Treaty will give unelected despots and plutocrats in Brussels and elsewhere the power to bully the arse off us all: for their benefit, and not ours.

author by catladypublication date Fri Jul 10, 2009 00:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... but how in the name of shite could this be any worse than the crowd we have controlloing us now? I'd welcome Brussels at this point in time. They at least have a semblance of education compared to Cowen, Harney and the like... Not that I have an iota of respect for ANY of them!

author by t g macamhloaibhpublication date Fri Jul 10, 2009 08:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I see that you've decided to ingore the only Dáil party that is against the treaty, Sinn Féin, by excluding them from your list of No campaigners.

Congradulations. Every day Indy media morphs that wee bit more into a Main Stream Media parody in so many respects.

author by platterspublication date Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

because we voted the crowd we have controlling us now into power and we should be able to vote them out again

author by fergalinhopublication date Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A word of warning for anyone who thinks that the EU institutions in Brussels are in some way superior or more effective than our own national ones:

The EU Commission wields an enormous amount of power in Brussels. It's unelected staff often work for public relations and law firms based in Brussels and pass through "revolving door" type situations where they lobby on behalf of corporations and then enter directly into positions where they are responsible for drafting legislation.

There are more than 15,000 lobbyists in Brussels, and perhaps many more. There is a "voluntary" register for groups involved in lobbying, but there is no obligation to disclose spending/financial details.

MEPs who are increasingly targeted by these lobbyists often use the prepared amendments lobbyists suggest verbatim in their petitions to parliament.

The revolving door also applies to MEPs.

Conflicts of interest; such as that of our own Pat Cox;

Pat Cox acts as Special Adviser on “Communication and Strategy for Consumers on citizens” to Commisioner Kuneva, Commissioner for Consumers.

However Cox is on the advisory boards of at least three corporations with a strong interest in influencing EU consumer policies (Microsoft, Pfizer and Michelin). Mr. Cox is moreover a senior counselor for lobby consultancy giant APCO. Cox also runs his own lobby firm, European Integration Solutions (EIS).

APCO is lobbying the EU institutions on behalf of Unilever, Intel, Novartis, Coca-Cola, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, the European Food Information Council and other corporate players eager to influence EU consumer policies.

This kind of situation is typical.

The EU institutions have been firmly "captured" by the transnationals. Until this situation is rectified, there is little hope that the EU will do anything apart from support and further the neo-liberal agenda of these companies.

I am against the Lisbon treaty but what I really want to see is a constructive argument about what the real role of the EU should be, where lines should be drawn and how it should function.

I think there is space in "European political debate" for a euro-skeptic vision from the left which does not focus only on loss of sovereignty in decision making but also on the erosion of the social values which could be supported through the EU, external trade strategy, etc.

Anyway, best of luck in the campaign.

This organisation does good work on this:

Related Link: http://www.corporateeurope.org/
author by Robertpublication date Fri Jul 10, 2009 13:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'd also be concerned about corruption in the EU: and particularly regarding the fact that although issues relating to the possibility of corruption taking place have been reported in public -- in one instance (at least) on a truly massive scale perhaps (connected with questions raised by Mr Ashley Mote MEP) -- that nothing (that I know of) is being done to investigate such activities in a way that can be seen to be in the public interest.

Such total silences relating to allegations of major corruption do not appear to me to be signs of good governance: i.e. genuine democracy, as in "government of the people, by the people, for the people".

Additional information on the EU corruption issues referred to here can be found in the list at the address provided below.

Corruption in European Union, Republic of Ireland:

author by IRSP - Irish Republican Socialist Partypublication date Sat Jul 11, 2009 17:21author email ac at irsm dot orgauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Republican Socialist Party are opposed to any second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

The people have already voted on this issue last June, 2008, and rejected the advice of the establishment and their parties and kicked Lisbon out. Now because things did not go the establishments way they, and their political masters in Paris and Brussels, have decided that the people must vote again and this time, from their view point, get it right.

There is one thing for certain if, last June, the outcome of the first referendum had been favourable towards the establishment parties and Lisbon was accepted there would have been more chance of finding rocking horses running at Epsom than a second referendum. The establishment are going ahead with this insult simply because they can! It can be reasonably argued that this issue, following a precedent being set after the Nice Treaty was re-run, signals the beginning of the end for the Irish Constitution. Referenda are all well and good provided they go the establishments way and when they don’t, try again. If the voice of the people is as sovereign as we are led to believe Lisbon would be dead and buried. It would appear that treaties in Ireland are similar to Brams Stockers character Dracula, the people think the beast is dead only to find it risen from the dead.

Recently our political leaders came back from Brussels with some half baked tale about promises “of legally binding guarantees” which are meaningless. They are not even guarantees but merely “promises of guarantees” which are certainly not the same thing. Even the promises they have are not priority issues. The issue of a commissioner was sited by around 2-3 percent of respondents when surveyed as to why they voted no! Things which really mater to people such as the possibility of public services going out to private tender and workers rights didn’t even warrant a “promise of a guarantee”. Any workers rights will be subject to the needs of capitalism and the bosses being served adequately first meaning, the bosses will still have the right to trample all over workers except with the Lisbon Treaty behind them. The European elite gave some vague recognition of respecting Irelands neutrality while at the same time continuing to speak of “Battle Groups”.

For what it is worth at a meeting, which the IRSP attended, at the offices of the European Commission in Dublin on Monday 15th December a speaker representing the Fine Gael party, Lucinda Creighton, when questioned by a representative of the Irish Anti War Movement on Irish neutrality said Ireland “was not neutral”. Fine Gael are supposed to be the party of opposition in the Dail. However when it comes to defending the class interests of the bourgeoisie there is no opposition.

When the IRSP representative questioned Joe Costello, Labour Party, at the same meeting about his party’s apparent change of heart regarding a second referendum he was unable to give a straight answer. The question was put to Joe that “the Labour Party were against a second referendum after the defeat of the first one” he answered “we are opposed to a second referendum in the same format, asking the same questions”. When the Chairperson of the forum, Kevin Raffter, pushed the labour speaker asking “if you had to vote tomorrow which way would you vote” to which the beleaguered Labour TD again could not give a straight answer.As far as the IRSP are concerned there should be no second referendum as it has already been decided by the people. However given the fact that there is going to be one we, along with our colleagues in the Campaign Against European Union Constitution, will be campaigning for another rejection of the Lisbon Treaty.

Lisbon mark one was essentially the ill-fated European Constitution, rejected by the French and Dutch electorate which was why these people were not allowed to vote on acceptance or rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. Just as Lisbon mark one was of no noticeable difference to the European Constitution, so too will Lisbon mark two be of any consequential difference to its ill-fated predecessor. The Irish Republican Socialist Party would strongly recommend another rejection, not that there should be a re-run in the first place, of the Lisbon Treaty. We would warn people who may be undecided that any “promises of guarantees” are a far cry from written guarantees and must not be taken in the same light. Even if the government do manage to get something more concrete on the area of a commissioner how much importance would you, the people, place on this issue?

Also do not be misled with such clap trap as “we have received a declaration” from the European Commission because, like “promises of guarantees”, declarations are meaningless. They are not protocols, they hold no legal weight no more than do promises.Finally we might remind people of the words of former French President Valery Giscard d Estang on the Lisbon Treaty, in order to deny the French people a referendum, the treaty should be designed to “head off any threat of referenda by avoiding any form of constitutional vocabulary”.

This was echoed by the Belgium Foreign Minister, Karel de Gucht, who said “the aim of this treaty is to be unreadable”, in other words don’t let the people have a clue what they are voting on. There will be no fundamental difference in Lisbon mark two to that of mark one, simply because it can’t be changed without rewriting the whole document and it has taken too long for the European bourgeoisie to concoct for that to happen. The bottom line is there will be no change in the meaning or content of the Lisbon Treaty, make sure there is no change in the outcome of the vote. When the time comes vote NO .

No Means NO!
No Means NO!

Related Link: http://www.irsm.org/irsp
author by We the Peoplepublication date Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The attached video will explain to any yes men or any one else who are somewhat unsure as to which way to vote on the EU Constitution called the Lisbon Treaty.

Nigel Farage explains whos who in the EU Commission to clear up any confusion as to what kind of minefield we would walk into under a ratified Lisbon.

Caption: Video Id: YWSYMpuCFaQ Type: Youtube Video
Embedded video Youtube Video

author by We the Peoplepublication date Tue Jul 21, 2009 08:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Whether your left , right or in the undecided middle regarding the EU Constitution dressed up as a Treaty called Lisbon , this 'inside' clip of the European Parliament will clarify how 'Democratic' the Commission will be if if this Totalitarian Treaty is ratified.

This is especially important for any voters who may be undecided as to what way to vote if they believe in this amazing thing they call democracy which, is far inferior to the principles of a Sovereign Constituted Republic which we already have.

You don't know what you got until you loose it.

Caption: Video Id: qOcG2G_6uC0&feature= Type: Youtube Video
Embedded video Youtube Video

author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerpublication date Sat Aug 29, 2009 16:28author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors


Child - Dublin, 2007. pic © Michael Gallagher - poster free to use. Please credit the pic (where possible) to photographer if used.
Child - Dublin, 2007. pic © Michael Gallagher - poster free to use. Please credit the pic (where possible) to photographer if used.

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