Irish MEPs at centre of Lisbon post-mortem (19/6/08)

June 19, 2008 at 12:27 pm Leave a comment

‘What happens from here on, God only knows,’ said Dublin MEP Gay Mitchell in the wake of Ireland’s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. It’s a fair reflection of the confusion expressed throughout Europe, as both politicians and punters seem genuinely stumped as to how to proceed with a treaty that requires ratification by all 27 member states. Irish MEPs have been at the centre of the post-referendum debate, well-placed both to analyse the domestic reasons behind the ‘No’ vote and to draw conclusions from the ferment of support and recrimination from their European colleagues. Fianna Fáil MEP Eoin Ryan has echoed the ‘softly, softly’ approach of the Taoiseach, in calling on all parties to allow time to resolve the issues ‘with a sense of maturity, wisdom and careful reflection’.
Labour MEP Proinsias de Rossa has warned against making a scapegoat of Ireland – he says the political crisis created by the Irish vote ‘must be resolved collectively by all member states’. Mr de Rossa also asked his European partners to consider the reasons behind the EU-wide ‘malaise and discontent’ reflected by the Irish vote, and also by France and Holland’s rejection of the EU constitution in 2005.
Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald, meanwhile, is spearheading the drive to renegotiate the treaty. Having campaigned against Lisbon in the belief that a better deal was possible, Sinn Féin has given the Taoiseach a detailed plan outlining ‘short-term strategic reforms’ covering democracy, transparency, neutrality, workers’ rights, trade and public services. We have yet to hear how these suggestions are received in Brussels, but Sinn Féin’s opening request, calling for all subsequent treaties to be written ‘in clear and accessible language’, is one that should certainly be taken on board by all parties, whatever the future holds.

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Entry filed under: Eurolink Dublin, Lisbon Treaty.

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