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Friday, June 26, 2009

Ireland you are not alone

Following calls from several corners in Germany for more referendums on EU issues, and with the German Constitutional Court due to rule on the compatability of the Lisbon Treaty with the German Constitution next week, Open Europe today publishes a new poll of German voters, which shows that 77% of them want a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

See here to read the press release, which also has some background details.

Interesting to note that EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has weighed into the Irish debate again today and remarked that voters in most other EU countries would also have voted no to the Treaty, if only they had been given a say. He added that many EU leaders were glad they had no legal obligation to hold referendums on the Treaty in their own countries.

Too right. Back in 2007 Open Europe conducted the first ever independent poll of all 27 EU countries, and found that an average of 75% of all Europeans want a referendum on any new Treaty which transfers power to the EU (ie Lisbon) - and a clear majority in every single country. There was also no clear majority in favour of such a treaty - respondents were equally split with 41% saying they would vote in favour of a treaty that transferred more powers to the EU level, and 41% saying they would vote against.

This is not the first time Charlie McCreevy has scored an own goal for the EU cause, having admitted during the first referendum campaign in Ireland that he hadn't actually read the text (just like the Prime Minister, Brian Cowen).

It won't be long before old Charlie is told to get back in his box, before he does too much damage with his honesty.


elkieb said...

So when is England going to get a referendum on this? ! I’d definitely have voted against it, if I had been given the opportunity…

Anonymous said...

I too would have voted aganst the Treaty, as would most sane people. The Irish are being forced to vote again on something they have already rejected. A case of 'keep voting until you get it right', which I suspect would have happened to us had we had a say.

Julien Frisch said...

If you would report correctly, you would at least mention that the German constitution does not foresee referenda at all.

Not having a referendum on Lisbon - which indeed might be preferred by a majority - is hence not just a question of EU politics but of the constitutional construction of the Federal Republic of Germany.

And I suppose as opponents to integrationist tendencies you wouldn't want EU politics to have too much influence on constitutional affairs of the member states... ;-)

steve newton said...

This blog is exactly right. Its only the bureaucrats in any of the eu countries that want an enlarged EU gravytrain. The fact that it also includes power over everybody else, is 'right up their street'. As for the mass of the population of Europe, nobody wants it. And thats exactly why the Irish people should vote NO again. The very fact that the EU is telling them to vote again to get 'the right answer' says everything about what a post Lisbon EU is all about, total domination and control of the people.
Stay brave, Ireland. The much grasped at 'protocol' is a con. Use your vote for all the people of europe denied a referendum by their duplicitous goverments. Show the EU that we dont want a Europe in which the people are bullied, because we all know where that will lead.

Anonymous said...

As with other western leaders, Mr Brown is troubled by the likelihood of vote rigging during the presidential 'election' in Iran. At least the people of Iran were offered a vote - which, despite the undertaking in Labour's election manifesto to put the Lisbon treaty to a referendum, has been denied to the people of the UK. The democratic deficit in the UK now matches that of its economy.

Open Europe blog team said...

@Julien Frisch: there is a sort of "post-constitutional" provision in the German Constitution. As we write:


"Although the German Constitution only permits referendums at the local level, Article 146 suggests a referendum may be called if the constitutional order in the country is changed to the detriment of Germany's constitution. According to German newspaper Suedeutsche Zeitung this means the Court could ask for a referendum on the Treaty."

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/195/457851/text/ Translated by EUobserver: http://euobserver.com/9/27586

Gambian said...

It is vital for my consideration that the Irish Referendum returns a NO vote because so many of us are being denied a Referendum, so if they want Democracy as we do then they should not change their previous opinion which was to say NO to the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution.

David Barneby said...

I have read this Blogg and all the others above, as well as some pertinent comment here .
I am shocked and dismayed at the way we citizens of sovereign national member states are being bulldozed by the EU into conforming to their federal wishes, completely undercutting our sovereign democracy .
The time has come for Britain and maybe other countries to hold a referendum on whether to leave , stay in, or completely change our relationship with the EU . I myself would vote to leave the EU!

Anonymous said...

very easy to say vote no again what happens then do we then have to leave the eu .

Open Europe blog team said...

Of course not. Politicians want you to believe that this is a choice between staying in the EU and leaving, but it is nothing of the sort. It is a choice between a more powerful, more undemocratic EU, and the status quo.

A second 'No' to the same question would be unprecedented. The EU would finally be forced to accept that the people don't want this Treaty, and don't agree with the way in which it is being forced upon the people of Europe.

A second 'No' vote would give power back to the people - there would be celebrations all over Europe as all the millions of people who were denied a vote on this toast Ireland's refusal to be bullied.

Far from resulting in Ireland leaving the EU, a No vote would allow the incoming Conservative government in Britain to hold the referendum it has repeatedly promised, and to then revoke the UK's ratification when the country inevitably votes No too.

Neither the Czech nor the Polish Presidents will sign if the Irish people say no.

It will be the end of the Treaty, and the beginning of a new, more positive and democratic period in which the people of Europe engage in the debate about what kind of powers the EU should have, and how these should be exercised. The EU doesn't need the Lisbon Treaty to survive - it needs a radical rethink, and the Irish referendum is the first step towards (and last hope for) real change for the better.

Anonymous said...

The thing is that the German Costitutional court have made it clear that any alterations to the eu will have to be in line with the German constitution, therefore the Germans shouldn't be allowed to sign it because the ruling legally means that the Germans will be able to veto anything they like whereas the other countries won't.

The fact remains that Mc Creevy is right the peoples of the previously free nations which are stuck in the eu wouldn't vote yes if given the opportunity.