A blow to Europe was delivered on June 12, 2008, with Ireland handing an emphatic "no" to the Lisbon Treaty which had won over 53.4% of voters. Ireland was the only member of the European Union to hold a referendum on this issue.
A referendum is a procedure that allows all citizens of a country to demonstrate by a vote approval or rejection of a measure proposed by the government (Larousse).The Lisbon Treaty, also known as "simplified treaty", was a kind of Plan B to the European constitutional requirements of the Treaty, rejected in 2005 by France and the Netherlands. The Lisbon Treaty provides for institutional reform to facilitate the operation of 27 or more Member States. It should facilitate such decision-making and must make the EU more democratic.
But it is precisely because of democracy came the disaster of the EU: 862,415 people have foiled a treaty that would apply to almost 500 million Europeans. With this "no", "the EU was plunged into another crisis, perhaps the worst since its inception," the headline in Dagens Nyheter in Sweden declared after the result.
We wonder how this rejection of the treaty came about? What are the ways out of the open crisis in the European Union by Ireland? To address this problem, we first analyze the reasons for the Irish "no", then will highlight the solutions to overcome the crisis.
In the first part, we will first analyze the context of the Irish referendum on 12 June 2008 and then better understand why the country voted "no" to the Lisbon Treaty.
Coming into 1973, Ireland is one of the countries that have benefited most from membership in the European Union. Indeed, this country has received significant financial assistance from EU structural funds. Over the years, economic growth was so strong that it knew a situation of full employment.
The Irish recognized that they were the "economic miracle" and the EU were in favor. Moreover, this surge has allowed Ireland to emerge from the shadows of its large neighbor, the United Kingdom, and to distinguish themselves from British Euroscepticism. In addition, the Irish economic boom has attracted many immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland.
At the social level, in the very Catholic Ireland, the European integration accounted for the freedom for women. Indeed, before the entry of their country into the European Union, married women were not allowed to work. Those who were employed had to resign before their marriage. The contraceptive pill was banned for use by single women and for many married women as well - family physicians were more than reluctant to issue such an order - and the installation of a diaphragm was seen as a mortal sin!
Arrive June 12, 2008, the day of referendum. Ireland is the only state to have, on behalf of its Constitution, to decide by referendum the issue of the Lisbon Treaty, instead of going through parliamentary ratification.
Tags: Lisbon Treaty referendum, British Euroscepticism, Ireland's ‘no' to the Lisbon Treaty
[...] The in contrast, is the belief that the EU is guilty of the current problems Concerns varied, more or less well founded The second reason for the vote is the will of the Irish to defend their identity and sovereignty In fact they fear the domination of the major countries of the European Union and particularly their excessive weight in the decision making process (the new treaty providing for an extension of qualified majority voting).The abandonment of the Lisbon Treaty's principle of "one Commissioner per Member State" (number of commissioners shall not exceed two-thirds of the number of Member States) has also played its role in the voting decision. Thus of the nay-sayers have voted to keep an Irish Commissioner in Brussels. To justify its Ireland has also discussed the protection of its neutrality security and defense. [...]
[...] The slogan of the advocates, "If you do not know, do not vote or vote encouraged the Irish to do so. In this regard, the majority of voters including those voting acknowledged that the campaign was more convincing, thanks to this simple slogan, strong and easy to remember. Though termed "simple", the treaty is a legal document of 300 pages, with changes in previous treaties, and is not especially readable or understandable to the average citizen. (And that's one reason why some believe a referendum is not appropriate in this case). [...]
[...] Indeed, the country is not engaged in NATO and many Irish fear the establishment of a European defense in which they would be forced to participate. For example, during the exit polls, a voter told an investigator that he had voted "to prevent his son aged 3 months from being compelled to enroll in the European army and to enable him to escape conscription But the Irish Parliament passed an amendment (No. 28) to Constitution to make this neutrality compatible with the Lisbon Treaty (the amendment states that "Ireland would remain neutral even though a decision against a vote for Ireland was in favor of any commitment There was no need to vote for this reason. [...]
[...] While a small population does not diminish its right to object, at the same time, it should not be able to prevent other countries from advance if they wish. In this direction, for example, is the statement by the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who found it "impossible for Ireland with all due respect democratic [ . ] to stop a project so necessary for the EU". - And Ireland is not France or the Netherlands. The double of France and the Netherlands in 2005 caused such a shock because they were two of the six founding countries, which is not the case of Ireland. [...]
[...] Specific clauses to Ireland are possible, so that the fears of the Irish are mitigated. This could be useful to reassure them, and not to prevent other countries from moving towards a deepening of the European Union. For example, these exemptions would promise Ireland not to question the family law (ban on abortion, gay marriage) and the military neutrality of the country (things not on question in the Treaty anyway) and to keep its EU commissioner. Voices were raised against this solution: "We will not renegotiate three times, it is grotesque ” protested Valery Giscard D'Estaing, adding: "The Lisbon Treaty is not dead. [...]
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