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 The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?

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PostSubject: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:37 pm

I think it is worth a thread to examine the basis proposed for a Second Referendum on Lisbon: this was published yesterday, but I am assuming on the basis of RTE's reporting that it was agreed unchanged.

In return, for the commitments, the Irish government would promise to pursue ratification of the Lisbon treaty before the current European Commission's term ends in October 2009.

Quote :
Full text of the draft conclusions in Ireland and the Treaty of Lisbon

1. The European Council re-affirms that the Lisbon Treaty is considered necessary in order to help the enlarged Union to function more efficiently, more democratically and more effectively including in international affairs. With a view to enabling the
Treaty to enter into force by the end of 2009, the European Council has defined the following path.

2. On the composition of the Commission, the European Council recalls that the Treaties currently in force require that the number of Commissioners be reduced in 2009. The European Council agrees that provided the Lisbon Treaty enters into force, a decision will be taken, in accordance with the necessary legal procedures, to the effect that the Commission shall continue to include one national of each Member State.

3. The European Council has carefully noted the other concerns of the Irish people presented by the Taoiseach as set out in the statement annexed relating to taxation policy, family, social and ethical issues, and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) with regard to Ireland's traditional policy of neutrality. The European Council agrees that these concerns shall be addressed to the mutual satisfaction of Ireland and the other Member States by way of the necessary legal guarantees, provided Ireland makes the commitment in paragraph 4.

4. In the light of the above commitments by the European Council, and conditional on the satisfactory completion of the detailed follow-on work by mid-2009 and on presumption of their satisfactory implementation, the Irish Government is committed to seeking ratification of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of the term of the current Commission.

Annex II
Statement of the Concerns of the Irish People on the Treaty of Lisbon as set out by the Taoiseach

1. Ensuring that Ireland's requirements regarding maintenance of its traditional policy of neutrality are met;

2. Ensuring that the terms of the Lisbon Treaty will not affect the continued application of the provisions of the Irish Constitution in relation to the right to life, education and the family;

3. Ensuring that in the area of taxation the Treaty of Lisbon makes no change of any kind to the extent or operation of the Union's competences;

4. Confirming that the Union attaches high importance to:

* social progress and the protection of workers' rights;
* public services, as an indispensable instrument of social and regional cohesion;
* the responsibility of Member States for the delivery of education and health services;
* the essential role and wide discretion of national, regional and local Governments in providing, commissioning and organising non-economic services of general interest which is not affected by any provision of the Treaty of Lisbon, including those relating to the common commercial policy.

Annex III
Declaration of the European Council

Treaty of Lisbon — Transitional measures concerning the Presidency of the European Council and the Presidency of the Foreign Affairs Council

In the event that the Lisbon Treaty enters into force at a date when a six-monthly Presidency of the Council has already begun, the European Council agrees that, as a matter of transition, in order to take into account the preparatory work and ensure an harmonious continuity of the work :

* the competent authorities of the Member State holding the six-monthly Presidency of the Council at that time will continue to chair all the remaining meetings as regards the Council and the European Council as well as third country meetings until the end of the semester;

* the following six-monthly Presidency of the Council will be in charge of taking the necessary specific measures relating to the organisational and material aspects of the Presidency of the European Council and of the Foreign Affairs Council during its semester, in conformity with the Treaty. On these issues, a close consultation will be established between this Presidency and the President (elect) of the European Council and the High Representative (designate) of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.


Annex IV
Declaration of the European Council

Treaty of Lisbon — Transitional measures concerning the composition of the European Parliament

In the event that the Lisbon Treaty would enter into force after the European elections of June 2009, transitional measures will be adopted as soon as possible, in accordance with the necessary legal procedures, in order to increase, until the end of the 2009-2014 parliamentary term, in conformity with the numbers provided for in the framework of the IGC which approved the Lisbon Treaty, the number of MEPs of the twelve Member States for which the number of MEPs was set to increase. Therefore, the total number of MEPs will pass from 736 to 754 until the end of the 2009-2014 parliamentary term. The objective is that this modification should enter into force, if possible, during the year 2010.

Annex V

Declaration of the European Council Treaty of Lisbon – Appointment of the future Commission

The European Council agrees that the process of appointment of the future Commission, in particular the designation of its President, will be initiated without delay after the European Parliament elections of June 2009.

© 2008 European Voice. All rights reserved.


I presume that the Dail will have to consider this and decide whether or not to call a Referendum.

I have looked at the Guarantees and tbh they appear to be so general as to be utterly without meaning, apart from the retention of Commissioners. Number 1 and 2 are the nearest to being implementable, if the Guarantees turn out to have any legal weight. Would the "neutrality" statement excuse us from the increased military spending, I wonder?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:25 pm

I very much doubt that the guarantees have any legal weight whatsoever. If they had, they'd have been incorporated into the treaty. We are being given 'assurances.' Kinda like the assurances the US gives us about Shannon I suspect.

This is all very bad news for Biffo methinks. He might as well have gone away and got a piece of paper with the words "Fu@k the Irish!" written on it. The EU and Biffo have just done the "No" campaign's work for them.

The next "Yes" campaign will be very interesting: "Get it right this time you dopey assholes!" I might help out the "Yes" side and design a few posters with a slogan similar to that. Laughing

I'd bet the "No" vote this time round will be above 60%.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:44 pm

There's no weight at all to them, they don't change a thing. It's the fig-leaf to be used to justify running the thing yet again, so that they can say that 'no' voters' concerns have been comprehensively addressed. It's not about worthless 'guarantees', or about 'clarification'. It's about ramming the thing through come hell or high water, and no Paddies are going to get in the big boys' way...

I'm concerned that this time there will be a 'yes' vote, purely because of the guilt-trip campaign about having lost our influence in Europe (as if our 'influence' hasn't been shown to be less than that of a fart in a hurricane), and pure weariness over the whole thing.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:49 pm

I can't understand the attitude of the Yes side (both local and european). They claim they want Lisbon II passed, but they flatly refuse to alter the document, despite its rejection.

We are told that if we don't ratify the other 26 will move on without us. This cannot happen. They are all bound by the existing treaties and any new treaty to exclude us is a full-on renegotiation of everything, at least as comprehensive as the partial renegotiation of Lisbon itself that they pointedly refuse to us.

If Lisbon II is rejected (and based on this document it will be) then their whole edifice is cast into chaos. You'd imagine they'd be showering us with incentives! Instead, all we get is a begruding application of lipstick to the same dioxin-laden pig we took off the shelves last year! What are they at?

If we remember back to how EU referenda were won in Ireland in the past, it has always been overt bribery. Nice II was the only exception I can think of. Threatening people with scary consequences just doesn't work on Irish people. It's all about the money - we like to be bribed. We usually vote for people who bribe us with our own money FFS. Europeans bribing us with someone else's money is the only sure fire strategy.

To people who think the middle class will come out this time, they are wrong. The middle class came out last time too, but for once, so did everyone else. Short of US style voter suppression tactics, there is no way the massive turnout of Lisbon I will be overturned.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:59 pm

Much of the argument over Lisbon revolved around the interpretation of what was written in the Treaty - that if you looked at Clause X the wrong way up and squinted hard, it clearly meant that everything would be privatised, that Irish corporation tax would become infinitely high, that abortion would become mandatory, and three-year olds would be conscripted into an EU army. These declarations state that those are not the case.

The problem is that, apart from the argument that sacred Irish sovereignty is diluted (which most of the electorate don't give a toss about) there are few substantive arguments on the No side - the arguments are interpretative. As a result, they are being addressed by declarations, which are interpretations of the Treaty - although they will be turned into Protocols at the next accession.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:08 pm

ibis wrote:
Much of the argument over Lisbon revolved around the interpretation of what was written in the Treaty - that if you looked at Clause X the wrong way up and squinted hard, it clearly meant that everything would be privatised, that Irish corporation tax would become infinitely high, that abortion would become mandatory, and three-year olds would be conscripted into an EU army. These declarations state that those are not the case.

The problem is that, apart from the argument that sacred Irish sovereignty is diluted (which most of the electorate don't give a toss about) there are few substantive arguments on the No side - the arguments are interpretative. As a result, they are being addressed by declarations, which are interpretations of the Treaty - although they will be turned into Protocols at the next accession.

I have no problem with that, and I myself was critical of some of the wilder claims about what Lisbon represented from Coir and Libertas during the last campaign. But I suspect they will be portrayed as something new, as if the people are going to vote on something different in substance. And, as such, it is indeed a fig-leaf to justify what was inevitable once the people voted the 'incorrect' way for those in power in Brussels and the European capitals.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:22 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
ibis wrote:
Much of the argument over Lisbon revolved around the interpretation of what was written in the Treaty - that if you looked at Clause X the wrong way up and squinted hard, it clearly meant that everything would be privatised, that Irish corporation tax would become infinitely high, that abortion would become mandatory, and three-year olds would be conscripted into an EU army. These declarations state that those are not the case.

The problem is that, apart from the argument that sacred Irish sovereignty is diluted (which most of the electorate don't give a toss about) there are few substantive arguments on the No side - the arguments are interpretative. As a result, they are being addressed by declarations, which are interpretations of the Treaty - although they will be turned into Protocols at the next accession.

I have no problem with that, and I myself was critical of some of the wilder claims about what Lisbon represented from Coir and Libertas during the last campaign. But I suspect they will be portrayed as something new, as if the people are going to vote on something different in substance. And, as such, it is indeed a fig-leaf to justify what was inevitable once the people voted the 'incorrect' way for those in power in Brussels and the European capitals.

Well, again, those interpretive arguments were presented as substantive by those who made them. If the counter-interpretations are also presented as substantive, it's hardly a surprise, or particularly unfair. I'll grant you that the whole discussion thereby remains several degrees removed from reality, but that seems to be the way we like our referendums, or even our politics in general.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:29 pm

ibis wrote:


Well, again, those interpretive arguments were presented as substantive by those who made them. If the counter-interpretations are also presented as substantive, it's hardly a surprise, or particularly unfair. I'll grant you that the whole discussion thereby remains several degrees removed from reality, but that seems to be the way we like our referendums, or even our politics in general.

I meant substantially different to the Treaty just voted upon. I see over on P.ie that one or two posters have already claimed the thing has been 're-negotiated'. But your general point about the fog around the whole thing is taken. I couldn't go into politics for that reason, I just couldn't keep a straight face when making some of the claims made, on both sides, about things such as this.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:41 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
ibis wrote:
Much of the argument over Lisbon revolved around the interpretation of what was written in the Treaty - that if you looked at Clause X the wrong way up and squinted hard, it clearly meant that everything would be privatised, that Irish corporation tax would become infinitely high, that abortion would become mandatory, and three-year olds would be conscripted into an EU army. These declarations state that those are not the case.

The problem is that, apart from the argument that sacred Irish sovereignty is diluted (which most of the electorate don't give a toss about) there are few substantive arguments on the No side - the arguments are interpretative. As a result, they are being addressed by declarations, which are interpretations of the Treaty - although they will be turned into Protocols at the next accession.

I have no problem with that, and I myself was critical of some of the wilder claims about what Lisbon represented from Coir and Libertas during the last campaign. But I suspect they will be portrayed as something new, as if the people are going to vote on something different in substance. And, as such, it is indeed a fig-leaf to justify what was inevitable once the people voted the 'incorrect' way for those in power in Brussels and the European capitals.

Ah Ibis. Firstly, the guarantees are exclusively, in so far as they have weight, for Ireland. A lot of No voters were against the general drift of the EU, and just offering an opt-out for Ireland (even if that were possible) would not satisfy those concerns. There is an assumption there on the Yes side that the No vote was entirely comprised of "little Irelanders" who had no concern about what kind of EU we are part of. There is no comfort in the guarantees for any No voter whose perspectives reach further than the Hook Head.
Secondly, the reason we are getting declarations or "guarantees" is that the Irish government did not ask for the renegotiation of the Treaty (admittedly, there would have been a great deal of resistance to it if they had) and not because in some way declarations were just the ideal way of dealing with Irish concerns.
Thirdly, the view that the No side had view substantive arguments would I assume be disputed by many.

btw - How certain is it that they will be turned into Protocols?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:01 pm

This is quite straight forward now, we need a united Europe a lot more now than we thought we did last May, it will pass, the details don’t & won’t matter.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:04 pm

tonys wrote:
This is quite straight forward now, we need a united Europe a lot more now than we thought we did last May, it will pass, the details don’t & won’t matter.

Have you switched?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:08 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
tonys wrote:
This is quite straight forward now, we need a united Europe a lot more now than we thought we did last May, it will pass, the details don’t & won’t matter.

Have you switched?

My feeling about the treaty or Europe in general, no, my intended vote, yes.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:10 pm

tonys wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
tonys wrote:
This is quite straight forward now, we need a united Europe a lot more now than we thought we did last May, it will pass, the details don’t & won’t matter.

Have you switched?

My feeling about the treaty or Europe in general, no, my intended vote, yes.

Is it the 'loss of influence and goodwill' argument?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:49 pm

cactus flower wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
ibis wrote:
Much of the argument over Lisbon revolved around the interpretation of what was written in the Treaty - that if you looked at Clause X the wrong way up and squinted hard, it clearly meant that everything would be privatised, that Irish corporation tax would become infinitely high, that abortion would become mandatory, and three-year olds would be conscripted into an EU army. These declarations state that those are not the case.

The problem is that, apart from the argument that sacred Irish sovereignty is diluted (which most of the electorate don't give a toss about) there are few substantive arguments on the No side - the arguments are interpretative. As a result, they are being addressed by declarations, which are interpretations of the Treaty - although they will be turned into Protocols at the next accession.

I have no problem with that, and I myself was critical of some of the wilder claims about what Lisbon represented from Coir and Libertas during the last campaign. But I suspect they will be portrayed as something new, as if the people are going to vote on something different in substance. And, as such, it is indeed a fig-leaf to justify what was inevitable once the people voted the 'incorrect' way for those in power in Brussels and the European capitals.

Ah Ibis. Firstly, the guarantees are exclusively, in so far as they have weight, for Ireland. A lot of No voters were against the general drift of the EU, and just offering an opt-out for Ireland (even if that were possible) would not satisfy those concerns. There is an assumption there on the Yes side that the No vote was entirely comprised of "little Irelanders" who had no concern about what kind of EU we are part of. There is no comfort in the guarantees for any No voter whose perspectives reach further than the Hook Head.

There is also a large group of No voters - indeed, perhaps, the whole core No vote - whose issues with the EU cannot ever be addressed by the EU at all.

For example, there are people who object to the economically liberal drift of the EU while simultaneously objecting to the loss of national influence on the EU - where the former is actually the result of the strength of the latter. We have an economically liberal EU at the moment because we have economically liberal governments across Europe.

cactus flower wrote:
Secondly, the reason we are getting declarations or "guarantees" is that the Irish government did not ask for the renegotiation of the Treaty (admittedly, there would have been a great deal of resistance to it if they had) and not because in some way declarations were just the ideal way of dealing with Irish concerns.

That is also true, but as it happens they are also a sensible response, because the arguments were over interpretation.

cactus flower wrote:
Thirdly, the view that the No side had view substantive arguments would I assume be disputed by many.

You mean people would claim that their interpretations of the Treaty were substantive arguments? I imagine so.

cactus flower wrote:
btw - How certain is it that they will be turned into Protocols?

I think that one is still uncertain at this point, although it's what Cowen is looking for.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:39 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
tonys wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
tonys wrote:
This is quite straight forward now, we need a united Europe a lot more now than we thought we did last May, it will pass, the details don’t & won’t matter.

Have you switched?

My feeling about the treaty or Europe in general, no, my intended vote, yes.

Is it the 'loss of influence and goodwill' argument?
Not so much that as I feel Ireland needs a strong & united Europe right now. Europe needs the confidence that will come from achieving the goals it sets for itself, such as from passing the treaty. Despite what I think of the way Europe is heading or the lack of true democracy in the passing of this treaty, I think a yes vote is the best option for Ireland at this point.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:49 pm

tonys wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
tonys wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
tonys wrote:
This is quite straight forward now, we need a united Europe a lot more now than we thought we did last May, it will pass, the details don’t & won’t matter.

Have you switched?

My feeling about the treaty or Europe in general, no, my intended vote, yes.

Is it the 'loss of influence and goodwill' argument?
Not so much that as I feel Ireland needs a strong & united Europe right now. Europe needs the confidence that will come from achieving the goals it sets for itself, such as from passing the treaty. Despite what I think of the way Europe is heading or the lack of true democracy in the passing of this treaty, I think a yes vote is the best option for Ireland at this point.

Well naturally I disagree, but fair enough. I suspect you're right that it will pass this time, and that the main reason will be the one you outline for your own change of vote, namely the perceived importance of EU 'unity'. I'll say my prayers, though...
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:22 pm

tonys wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
tonys wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
tonys wrote:
This is quite straight forward now, we need a united Europe a lot more now than we thought we did last May, it will pass, the details don’t & won’t matter.

Have you switched?

My feeling about the treaty or Europe in general, no, my intended vote, yes.

Is it the 'loss of influence and goodwill' argument?
Not so much that as I feel Ireland needs a strong & united Europe right now. Europe needs the confidence that will come from achieving the goals it sets for itself, such as from passing the treaty. Despite what I think of the way Europe is heading or the lack of true democracy in the passing of this treaty, I think a yes vote is the best option for Ireland at this point.

Out of interest, what would constitute heading in the direction of true democracy?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:52 pm

ibis wrote:
tonys wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
tonys wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
tonys wrote:
This is quite straight forward now, we need a united Europe a lot more now than we thought we did last May, it will pass, the details don’t & won’t matter.

Have you switched?

My feeling about the treaty or Europe in general, no, my intended vote, yes.

Is it the 'loss of influence and goodwill' argument?
Not so much that as I feel Ireland needs a strong & united Europe right now. Europe needs the confidence that will come from achieving the goals it sets for itself, such as from passing the treaty. Despite what I think of the way Europe is heading or the lack of true democracy in the passing of this treaty, I think a yes vote is the best option for Ireland at this point.

Out of interest, what would constitute heading in the direction of true democracy?
The lack of democracy as I see it in the passing of the treaty, as you well know, relates to the fact that no other country has allowed their citizens a chance to vote on this important change in Europe’s working arrangements.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:02 pm

tonys wrote:
ibis wrote:
tonys wrote:
Not so much that as I feel Ireland needs a strong & united Europe right now. Europe needs the confidence that will come from achieving the goals it sets for itself, such as from passing the treaty. Despite what I think of the way Europe is heading or the lack of true democracy in the passing of this treaty, I think a yes vote is the best option for Ireland at this point.

Out of interest, what would constitute heading in the direction of true democracy?
The lack of democracy as I see it in the passing of the treaty, as you well know, relates to the fact that no other country has allowed their citizens a chance to vote on this important change in Europe’s working arrangements.

OK - a problem at the national level. Fair enough.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:06 pm

Standing on the back foot refuting the No case didn't work last time, Ibis. Where are the people setting out the positive case for voting Yes?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:10 pm

There's no such thing as 100% democracy, where every citizen gets a say in every decision. It's not implementable.

Real democracy is surely a compromise, by introducing representation at defined levels, it becomes doable, but the voters lose some of their potency.

You don't hear too many shouting in the streets here for not having a senate vote. So why is having a vote in a set of administrative protocols in europe so important ? Not that it isn't.

But there does seem to be an awful lot of selectivity when it comes to democracy.

Edit : In my own opinion, the 8,000 or so individuals sitting on 800 state boards, with not a single vote among them, is a far bigger affront to democracy than anything they could muster in Strasburg or wherever.


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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:28 pm

The deal is effectively renegotiation by the back door. Renegotiation by the front door was never on as anyone with an even marginal understanding will have known. The agreement when put in full legal form - that will of course take a couple of months. Complex legal documents involving 27 countries and 23 languages always do - will be leally binding and can as such be registered as an intergovernmental treaty with the UN as Denmark did. It will then be put in an EU treaty when the Croatian accession treaty is signed. All EU treaties are simply amendments to the two primary treaties - the Treaties of Rome and Maastricht. Lisbon amends both of those. The Croatian treaty will amend the Lisbon amendments of Rome and Maastricht. So it means the Lisbon treaty content in effect is being changed via the next treaty, the Croatian treaty.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:33 pm

tonys wrote:

The lack of democracy as I see it in the passing of the treaty, as you well know, relates to the fact that no other country has allowed their citizens a chance to vote on this important change in Europe’s working arrangements.

That is nonsense, Tony. Most countries don't have any means to have referenda. Some have constitutional bans on them. The reason why referenda were planned for the constitution was because it was replacing all the previous treaties with a single document. This treaty does not replace any treaty. It merely amends them. So as a result it follows the normal procedures that have been used for 50 years.

You have fallen for one of the many lies the No side pushed in the campaign. Hopefully next time the No side will start nailing the lies rather than allowing people to fall for them by default.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:36 pm

Papal Knight wrote:
The deal is effectively renegotiation by the back door. Renegotiation by the front door was never on as anyone with an even marginal understanding will have known...

Exhibit B, ibis.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:38 pm

Papal Knight wrote:
tonys wrote:

The lack of democracy as I see it in the passing of the treaty, as you well know, relates to the fact that no other country has allowed their citizens a chance to vote on this important change in Europe’s working arrangements.

That is nonsense, Tony. Most countries don't have any means to have referenda. Some have constitutional bans on them. The reason why referenda were planned for the constitution was because it was replacing all the previous treaties with a single document. This treaty does not replace any treaty. It merely amends them. So as a result it follows the normal procedures that have been used for 50 years.

You have fallen for one of the many lies the No side pushed in the campaign. Hopefully next time the No side will start nailing the lies rather than allowing people to fall for them by default.

Sophistry. There aren't referendums in France and the Netherlands this time because of the inconvenience caused by them last time. A retarded hamster could see it.
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