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 Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?

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How are you going to vote in the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?
Yes
34%
 34% [ 39 ]
No
53%
 53% [ 61 ]
Don't Know
13%
 13% [ 16 ]
Total Votes : 116
 

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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:57 pm

Helium Three wrote:
That sort of cute-hoorism is unusual coming from you ibis. If we make a promise we should mean it wholeheartedly. What way is that to maintain respect?

Yes, I've seen you argue before that we cannot sign up to these rather vague aspirational commitments without being 100% committed to taking them to their maximum logical extent, and that if we don't carry them through we'll "lose respect" or people will say we only signed up with our fingers crossed.

This isn't a playground. We do sign up for these things with our fingers crossed, and not behind our backs either. We're a small neutral country with a military tradition that consists entirely of guerrilla warfare and peacekeeping. We're entitled to our reservations, and those reservations are accepted and respected by our EU partners.

I might be more impressed by the argument if it wasn't rather obvious that you use it simply in order to then argue against the commitments on the basis of what they might mean if we did take them to the maximum possible extent involved in the interpretation you offer for them.

Essentially, you're using the argument about 'respect' as stiffening for your straw men.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:02 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Read Willie. I'm not impressed with the "fellow traveller" reference. I heard him on the radio on this too and I am quite clear he proposes increased "defence" spending. There is nothing in his blog that says otherwise.

Well, yes. He's the Minister for Defence - it's pretty much his job to argue for increases in defence spending. When he gets budget increases for his Department, he puts them on the front page of the DoD website - as he did with the last several year's increases.

I'm sure that Ministers for Defence across Europe will argue that they should get increased budgets as a result of this commitment. That would be why the Treaty doesn't say "increase defence spending" - because if it did, it would be taking that decision out of the hands of the national governments.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:19 pm

If we are signing up to a Treaty then we are signing up to a Treaty. It is not against the character of our defence policy to improve our capabilities.

The text is as follows:

Member States shall undertake progressively to improve their military capabilities. The Agency in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments (hereinafter referred to as “the European Defence Agency”) shall identify operational requirements, shall promote measures to satisfy those requirements, shall contribute to identifying and, where appropriate, implementing any measure needed to strengthen the industrial and technological base of the defence sector, shall participate in defining a European capabilities and armaments policy, and shall assist the Council in evaluating the improvement of military capabilities.

Now none of that necessarily means we have to spend money. We could just polish all the guns and put petrol in the tanks. However, the EDA shall participate in defining a capabilities policy and in assisting the Council in evaluating military capabilities. Who will decide if we are in breach? I am not sure but it looks like the Council if that is who the EDA is assisting. Will the Council act by QMV in this area - not likely but I am open to correction. Will the EDA's evaluations be binding ike Commission decisions? I hope not.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:41 pm

Thanks for that Zhou. Ibis - our troops (and they were Irish) went off to the front in their thousands in WWI. There is nothing in the Treaty to say Ireland is neutral - it is our "special position" (of ducking and weaving) that is mentioned. We aren't fooling anyone, and we may end up looking like fools.

Unless something strange happens, I think we can assume Ireland will continue to get sucked in to participation in NATO and EU sponsored military missions, with or without Lisbon. Chad is 100 million a year (just from Ireland), and a second year is being talked about. The overall cost of Chad is more that the country's entire annual earnings for last year.

The wider picture, of the impact of Lisbon on EU relationships with NATO, whether the French rejoin, whether if they do, they will be pro or anti US, is hard to relate to. Do people want to try to hold on to the limited neutrality of our little State or want to get involved,within the limits of our influence, in shaping and influencing the character of the developing EU military capability, how its is used, and who it allies itself to?
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:07 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
If we are signing up to a Treaty then we are signing up to a Treaty. It is not against the character of our defence policy to improve our capabilities.

The text is as follows:

Member States shall undertake progressively to improve their military capabilities. The Agency in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments (hereinafter referred to as “the European Defence Agency”) shall identify operational requirements, shall promote measures to satisfy those requirements, shall contribute to identifying and, where appropriate, implementing any measure needed to strengthen the industrial and technological base of the defence sector, shall participate in defining a European capabilities and armaments policy, and shall assist the Council in evaluating the improvement of military capabilities.

Now none of that necessarily means we have to spend money. We could just polish all the guns and put petrol in the tanks. However, the EDA shall participate in defining a capabilities policy and in assisting the Council in evaluating military capabilities. Who will decide if we are in breach? I am not sure but it looks like the Council if that is who the EDA is assisting. Will the Council act by QMV in this area - not likely but I am open to correction. Will the EDA's evaluations be binding ike Commission decisions? I hope not.

This got a good deal of discussion on p.ie. The Council cannot act by QMV in any area with defence implications, and the ECJ cannot rule in any area with defence implications. No powers are provided for the EDA to issue judgements or any binding targets.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:12 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Thanks for that Zhou. Ibis - our troops (and they were Irish) went off to the front in their thousands in WWI. There is nothing in the Treaty to say Ireland is neutral - it is our "special position" (of ducking and weaving) that is mentioned. We aren't fooling anyone, and we may end up looking like fools.

Unless something strange happens, I think we can assume Ireland will continue to get sucked in to participation in NATO and EU sponsored military missions, with or without Lisbon. Chad is 100 million a year (just from Ireland), and a second year is being talked about. The overall cost of Chad is more that the country's entire annual earnings for last year.

But Chad is a UN mission. The EU are responsible for the organisation of the multinational force, just as the African Union have been on other UN missions. Calling it an EU mission is inaccurate.

cactus flower wrote:
The wider picture, of the impact of Lisbon on EU relationships with NATO, whether the French rejoin, whether if they do, they will be pro or anti US, is hard to relate to. Do people want to try to hold on to the limited neutrality of our little State or want to get involved,within the limits of our influence, in shaping and influencing the character of the developing EU military capability, how its is used, and who it allies itself to?

I think those are interesting questions - and the fact that we can have that debate is the answer to your first point - that the EU treaties simply respect our "soecial position" without stating what it is.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:14 pm

Ibis I have looked at this often enough. The Chad EUFOR is not a UN mission. It is a EU mission consented to by the UN. They are not the same things.

I think if a situation arose in which we were under pressure to participate in a EU mission, the fact that we have taken part in Afghanistan (NATO led) and Chad (EUFOR) is a precedent it may be difficult to step back from.


Last edited by cactus flower on Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added last sentence)
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:42 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Ibis I have looked at this often enough. The Chad EUFOR is not a UN mission. It is a EU mission consented to by the UN. They are not the same things.

I think if a situation arose in which we were under pressure to participate in a EU mission, the fact that we have taken part in Afghanistan (NATO led) and Chad (EUFOR) is a precedent it may be difficult to step back from.

"This mission is mandated under UN Security Council Resolution 1778 (25
September 2007), to operate in eastern Chad and work in conjunction
with the civilian UN mission in the region (known as MINURCAT)."

What exactly is not UN about the mission? I'm really not knocking - if you know something I don't, tell me. It looks to me like a UN mission, under a UN Resolution and mandate, being run through the EU. What does an "EU mission, consented to by the UN" mean?
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:10 pm

UN RESOLUTION 1778 link

_LINK_

From Francediplomie website:

On 25 September 2007, the UN Security Council voted unanimously for resolution 1778, authorizing the deployment of a multidimensional presence in eastern Chad and the northeastern part of the Central African Republic. This presence has three components:

A multidisciplinary United Nations mission (MINURCAT - United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad), composed of police officers, military and civilian liaison officers, will be tasked with selecting and training Chadian police officers for humanitarian protection and monitoring and promotion of human rights;

Chadian Police for Humanitarian Protection (PTPH), responsible for maintaining order and law enforcement in refugee camps;

A European Union military presence supporting the UN’s actions


MINURCAT is a UN mission. The EUFOR mission is no more a UN mission than the Iraq occupying force is. It is "authorised by" the Security Council of the UN.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:27 pm

Constructive No? In an ideal world wouldn't it be lovely. But in an ideal world we wouldn't be faced once every 5 or 10 years with a treaty that changes the nature of the union, alters competences, changes voting mechanisms, amends structures, introduces new military and climate and energy and other angles.

A constructive No will never be possible in a treaty referendum. No more possible than a 'constructive yes' considering that those proposing a yes vote are doing it for a variety of different reasons.

It is a significant problem that if there is a renegotiation to be done - and I'm not hopeful there will be, many no voters will be left with their hands hanging because legislators can't tell what the precise problem is.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:30 pm

The "No" to Nice1 was a constructive No which I fully supported. It has led to an increase in debate and awareness of what is involved in the European Project in Ireland. I wouldn't feel the same about a No vote on this Treaty.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:40 pm

cactus flower wrote:
UN RESOLUTION 1778 link

_LINK_

From Francediplomie website:

On 25 September 2007, the UN Security Council voted unanimously for resolution 1778, authorizing the deployment of a multidimensional presence in eastern Chad and the northeastern part of the Central African Republic. This presence has three components:

A multidisciplinary United Nations mission (MINURCAT - United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad), composed of police officers, military and civilian liaison officers, will be tasked with selecting and training Chadian police officers for humanitarian protection and monitoring and promotion of human rights;

Chadian Police for Humanitarian Protection (PTPH), responsible for maintaining order and law enforcement in refugee camps;

A European Union military presence supporting the UN’s actions


MINURCAT is a UN mission. The EUFOR mission is no more a UN mission than the Iraq occupying force is. It is "authorised by" the Security Council of the UN.

No, it is mandated by the UN, just as it says in your quote: "voted unanimously for resolution 1778, authorizing the deployment". That's what a UN mandate is.

This is exactly the same as the UN/AU joint operation:

Quote :

The Security Council
authorized the deployment of a 26,000-strong joint United
Nations-African Union force this afternoon, in an attempt to quell the
violence in Sudan’s western Darfur region, where fighting between
pro-Government militias and rebel guerrillas has killed more than
250,000 people since 2003.


By the provisions of resolution 1769 (2007), adopted unanimously by the 15-member body, the hybrid operation will be known as UNAMID
and will have up to 19,555 military personnel, including 360 military
observers and liaison officers, a civilian component including up to
3,772 international police and 19 special police units with up to 2,660
officers.

The Iraq occupying force has no such mandate. Its legal cloak is a previous UN resolution which does not authorise its deployment, or its invasion of Iraq.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:01 pm

This and many similar statements from the UN website make a clear distinction between a UN and an EU mission...

Quote :
The presidential statement read out by Mr. Arias reaffirmed the Council's full support for MINURCAT, the UN mission to Chad and the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) that was authorized by the Council last year to try to protect vulnerable civilians in both countries and to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance.

It also endorsed the work of the European Union force (EUFOR Tchad/RCA) being deployed to Chad to try to stabilize the region.

The MINURCAT is listed as a UN Peacekeeping Mission and the EUFOR is not.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=25495&Cr=chad&Cr1=
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:55 am

I wonder what Chad refugees would think reading this?

I would have thought that the UN only runs missions where it is needed to organise them. I don't think the UN opposes action which it has mandated whether the action is taken by the EU or the African Union.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:14 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
I wonder what Chad refugees would think reading this?

I would have thought that the UN only runs missions where it is needed to organise them. I don't think the UN opposes action which it has mandated whether the action is taken by the EU or the African Union.

It doesn't - and people haven't objected to the joint UN/AU mission as an AU mission, despite it being organised on exactly the same basis as EUFOR. I'm afraid I see this as "white (wo)man's guilt".

If the EU does peacekeeping on behalf of the UN, it is going to be involved in countries that were European colonies - because most of the world was, at some point.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:15 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
I wonder what Chad refugees would think reading this?

I would have thought that the UN only runs missions where it is needed to organise them. I don't think the UN opposes action which it has mandated whether the action is taken by the EU or the African Union.

Well a lot of Chadian oppositionists opposed the EUFOR, which they claim kept Deby in power and is there to do that. The UN peacekeeping forces in Central Africa are desperately under-resourced, why don't we support them?
There have already been a lot of people killed directly as a result of the EUFOR mission.

France didn't do too well in Rwanda and their record in Africa generally is shocking.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:16 pm

Ibis - you must know by now the difference between a Peace Keeping and Peace Enforcement mission.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Yes or No to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?   Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:44 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Ibis - you must know by now the difference between a Peace Keeping and Peace Enforcement mission.

I do - but that is not what you were talking about, which was whether the EUFOR mission in Chad is a UN mission or an EU mission.

Yes, peace enforcement is obviously going to involve more combat operations than peace keeping. That's what soldiers are for - it's why they have guns.
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