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New EU President admits Lisbon Treaty would fall if put to a popular vote in his own country

14 January, 2009

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has described Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek’s admission this afternoon, during his first address to the EU Parliament as EU President, that a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty would fall in the Czech Republic as illustrating the massive discrepancy between the political establishment of Europe and member state citizens.

Speaking from Strasbourg the Dublin MEP said:

“EU President Mirek Topolánek this afternoon admitted that if a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty were to take place in the Czech Republic ‘it would not pass’. Whilst I commend the new EU President on his candour his admission does again illustrate the massive discrepancy between the political establishment of Europe and member state citizens.

“If only political leaders and Yes campaigners would step back for a moment and ask themselves the obvious question, ‘why can we not get popular support for the Lisbon Treaty?’. Instead of respecting the democratic process that is suppose to underpin the European Union political leaders have sought to circumvent it at every turn since the people of France and the Netherlands rejected the EU Constitution.

“As it stands the ‘solution that a majority of the Irish will be able to accept’ as currently agreed by the EU and Irish government fails to address the core reasons why people in Ireland, like the people of France and the Netherlands, voted no. 

“The EU President like the Irish government, Fine Gael and Labour are misleading the electorate in their description of this ‘solution’. Ratifying the Lisbon Treaty would give away our automatic right to a Commissioner. The governments deal with the EU may see the Commissioner remain for an unspecified period of time, but the power to reduce the size of the Commission will be given to the Council and sooner rather than later we will see an end to one Commissioner per member state.

“Equally Declarations are not legally binding. They do not have the same legal status as the text of a Treaty or Protocols to a Treaty. They are exactly what they are called, political declarations made by politicians with no legal status or force. They are like promises made by a Fianna Fáil government at election time, made only to be broken.

“Any future Treaty must address these issues. To refuse to do so is to reinforce the failed social, economic and democratic policy making behind headlines that state Ireland’s economy will perform worse that any other troubled economy in the EU in 2009.” ENDS

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