Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ireland rejects Lisbon treaty

A referendum in Ireland has rejected the Lisbon treaty that reforms the European Union. I'm glad that they did.

The proponents of the Lisbon treaty will claim that it's unfair for Irish, less than 1% of EU's population, to prevent the treaty from coming into force. But, as pointed out by Dave Kopel,
The very fact that only 1% of the EU's population was allowed to vote on a treaty [...] was itself an illustration of the enormous "democratic deficit" of the EU in general, and the Lisbon Treaty in particular.
There could be more countries rejecting the Lisbon treaty in referendums, if there were any other countries holding referendums on it. What can one think about the EU leadership which had one treaty ("EU constitution") rejected in referendums and then decided to avoid that by simply not holding referendums on the next one? They fully deserved what they got in Ireland this week.

The pro-Lisbon side will also complain that the existing EU treaties don't allow to expand the union to more than 27 countries. Technically, it's accurate. But it's easy to write a 1-to-2 page document amending the clause that limits EU to 27 countries and a few more related clauses. What EU leadership did is, they tried to package 398 pages of other stuff and slip it past the voters, using "we can't expand EU to more than 27 countries" as an excuse. Again, they deserved what they got.


United Irelander said...

"There could be more countries rejecting the Lisbon treaty in referendums, if there were any other countries holding referendums on it."

Absolutely spot on and that's one of the reasons I voted no. The people of Europe deserve to be consulted about the EU's direction.

Anonymous said...

Whether you agree with the treaty or not, it's obvious, that things need to change. Otherwise, the concept of European "Union" is worthless.

Luarvik said...

There are things citizens of the EU should never vote on, Lisbon treaty being one of them. The public gets their say through elected governments. We need to be reasonable - there would never be a treaty if everyone got to have a say. It would never end. There's not much to be glad about, the treaty would have made way to a more effective and efficient EU. What a shame...

Luarvik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pierre said...

I am not convinced that something as complex and important as a treaty should be put to a referendum. Lets face it, people generaly vote in referenda based on their own self-interest. Given a choice, people will get rid of taxes and raise their government benefits. The current Latvian referendum on pensions is a perfect example. US state and municipal propositions are also good examples.

I can't help but feel that the EU is being blackmailed with these referenda. Many hold perceptions, some of them rightfully, of EU mismanagement, cronyism, what have you, and that is good enough to deny it a constitution. A revamped constitution might go a long way towards addressing some of those shortcomings.

Guistino at "Itching for Estimaa" makes a few good points on this matter.

Anonymous said...

There is the story of the Irish emigrant arriving in Sydney.
He leans over the ship's rail ,shouting down to the people on the pier
'is there a government here?'
'Yes',shouted from below
'Well ,I'm agin it!'he roars back.

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