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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Ireland - Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty: Campaign, Results and Reasons for Rejection - 0 views

  • The Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2008 was a bill introduced by the Government of Ireland in 2008 to amend the Constitution of Ireland in order to enable ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon (also known as the Reform Treaty) of the European Union, so it could be enacted as scheduled on 1 January 2009. As part of the enactment of the bill, a referendum was held on 12 June 2008.[1] The proposal was defeated by 53.4% of votes to 46.6%, with a turn out of 53.1%.[2]
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

20.06.08 Eurobarometer Post Referendum Survey in Ireland - 0 views

    A nationwide referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was held in Ireland on 12 June 2008. After the result was known, a Flash Eurobarometer survey was conducted by Gallup, from 13 to 15 June, at the request of the EU Representation in Ireland. Altogether, a randomly selected 2,000 respondents, aged 18 and older, were interviewed by telephone. The main objectives of the survey were to understand the reasons for non-participation in the referendum, the respondents' views about the campaign, the reasons for the "yes" or "no" votes and the overall reactions to the result. Respondents were also asked how they judged the likely consequences of the referendum. The paper summarizes the most important findings of the survey.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.11.10: Ireland's corporate tax "non-negotiable"? - 0 views

  • Eurozone neighbours are pressing Ireland to raise the 12.5% corporation tax rate as part of negotiations for a rescue package but Dublin is resisting, arguing that it is crucial for foreign investment. Irish Deputy Prime Minister Mary Coughlan told parliament the corporate tax rate was "non-negotiable". European Minister Dick Roche echoed that comment, saying "it is certainly not up for negotiation". "There has been some very unhelpful chatter in the background in the last few days about our corporation profit tax. Where would be the sense of destroying one of the great drivers of growth?" he told BBC television. Britain and Germany have long viewed low Irish taxes as a form of unfair competition and the finance ministers of Austria and France said the corporation tax may have to be raised as part of any deal. Michael Meister, a deputy leader in parliament and finance expert for Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), said the country needed to consider raising the levy. "The Irish rates are below the European Union average," Meister told Reuters on the sidelines of the CDU annual party congress on Tuesday (16 November). "I therefore see here at least a possibility, given the high [Irish] budget deficit, to improve revenues without causing a negative impact on growth," he added. Meister's comments come one day after Elmar Brok, a senior CDU lawmaker who has sat in the European Parliament since 1980, said Ireland may have no choice but to raise the rate. "Ireland has two options to consolidate its budget – cut expenses even further or increase taxes like the corporate tax rate," Brok said at the congress in Karlsruhe.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.01.09: Czechs begin work on legal guarantees for Ireland - 0 views

  • The Czech EU presidency is to begin the complicated task of providing the legal guarantees for the political concessions that Ireland has received on the rejected Lisbon Treaty. Work will soon begin between Irish lawyers, the legal services of the Council (representing member states) and the European Commission, to firm up EU promises to that the treaty will not affect Irish neutrality, abortion or tax laws.
  • Mr Martin admitted that running a second referendum will be "very challenging" but noted that the worsening economic situation in Ireland due to the global financial crisis may make voters "accept that it is far better for Ireland to be at the heart of the European Union ... rather than to marginalise itself."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.03.08: Lisbon-Treaty Ratification in Germany and Ireland - 0 views

  • Germany's highest court is to decide upon a complaint brought by a German MP against the EU's latest treaty.

    Peter Gauweiler, who hails from the Christian Social Union (CSU) - part of the governing coalition, wants the country's constitutional court to decide on the legality of the Lisbon Treaty, currently undergoing ratification across the 27-member European Union.
  • The German parliament is due to ratify the treaty in May and is likely to approve it, however the final act of ratification requires the country's president, Horst Kohler, to sign off the document. Mr Kohler may decide to wait for the court to reach a decision before putting his stamp under the treaty.
  • The Irish vote Meanwhile, another country in the ratification process that is set to provide for plenty of discussion is Ireland, the only member state to have a referendum.
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  • Within Ireland itself, the population is perceived as being generally pro-European, while the government and the main political parties are in favour of the treaty. But the fight ahead of the vote is already tough. A new group called Libertas is campaigning against the treaty on purely economic grounds, saying the document will make the EU less competitive affecting business-friendly Ireland.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

12.12.08: Second Irish referendum linked to Croatian EU accession - 0 views

  • Legal guarantees promised to Ireland and paving the way for a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in the country are to be written into a protocol together with Croatia's accession treaty to the EU in 2010 or 2011, current EU President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday (12 December).
  • EU leaders in Brussels this week (11-12 December) agreed to a series of concessions to allow Dublin to make possible a second vote on the bloc's Lisbon Treaty some time in the course of next year.
  • In order to make these promises legally binding, they will be written into a protocol in Croatia's accession treaty - that has to be ratified by all EU countries to enter into force. "To give a legal value to the engagements made to Ireland by the 26 other member states, we have committed that at the time of the next EU enlargement – whether that will be in 2010 or in 2011, when probably Croatia will join us ... we will use that to add a protocol [on Ireland] to Croatia's accession treaty," Mr Sarkozy told journalists after the EU summit.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.06.08: Ireland shows EU establishment the red card - 0 views

  • A total of 53.4% of Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty, with just 46.6% voting in its favour. Turnout was not as low as initially predicted with 53.1% of the electorate turning up at the urns.  With a total of 862,415 votes against, the Lisbon Treaty, which would have affected all the EU's 495 million citizens, was effectively rejected by 0.175% of the bloc's population, throwing the EU into an existential crisis. 
    Comprehensive analysis of the referendum in Ireland and its possible implications
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.06.08: What about the size of the eu-commission after the No vote in Ireland? - 0 views

  • The EU summit, which starts in Brussels today (19 June), was meant to give EU leaders the opportunity to discuss their first full-time president. But following the 'no' vote in Ireland, they now face the less pleasant prospect of having to reduce the size of the European Commission as currently required by the Nice Treaty.
  • Background: The Nice Treaty stipulates that when the number of EU member states reaches 27, the number of commissioners appointed in the subsequent EU executive would have to be less than this number, without giving a precise figure.  With the EU now having numbered 27 members since 1 January 2007, there is an understanding that the current number of commissioners exceeds the realistic number of portfolios.  As an example, to accommodate Bulgaria and Romania, Markos Kyprianou, the Cypriot health and consumer protection commissioner, had to abandon the second part of his portfolio in favour of his new Bulgarian colleague, Meglena Kuneva (EurActiv 26/10/06) Similarly, the multilingualism portfolio was taken from Ján Figel, the Slovak commissioner for education, training and culture, and handed to Leonard Orban, the Romanian commissioner (EurActiv 31/10/06).
  • But following the failed Irish referendum, heads of state and government will instead have to revert to the provisions of the Nice Treaty, which is designed for a Europe of 27 member states, diplomats said.  In short, this means having to consider reducing the number of commissioners to below 27, as foreseen under the current treaty agreed upon in Nice in 2001. In contrast, the Lisbon Treaty envisages reducing the number of commissioners to 15 by 2014. 
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  • "Under Lisbon, this would only have happened in 2014," Sellal told journalists in Brussels on 18 June. The question of which country (or countries) should give up their commissioner will therefore now have to be open to negotiation between EU heads of state. And because such decisions have to be taken by unanimity, this raises the prospect of endless haggling between member states.  "As long as there will be no Lisbon Treaty, this question will remain open," Sellal said. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.06.08: Ireland's commisioner under fire for poor EU treaty campaign - 0 views

  • The leader of the Socialists in the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, has accused Irish EU commissioner Charlie McCreevy of "arrogance" for his public revelations that he had not read the Lisbon Treaty and for a visit to the US just ahead of the referendum in Ireland.
  • We have to ask Mr Barroso what kind of people he has in his commission, particularly if you have someone acting as the deregulation Pope in Europe who then goes home and says he hasn't read the treaty and doesn't understand it," Mr Schultz told reporters on Tuesday (17 June). He was reacting to several statements of Mr McCreevy, who is in charge of internal market in the 27-member-strong European Commission, ahead of the only popular vote on the new EU reform treaty in Ireland held last week, in which the Irish rejected the document. The commissioner admitted a lack of knowledge of details of the treaty in an interview with the EUobserver, saying he had only read most of a summary of the document.
  • Moreover, the German Socialist leader criticised the EU executive for tabling proposals on rising oil prices the day after - rather than before - the referendum in Ireland, saying he was "amazed" that it had happened.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.06.09: Irish Lisbon guarantees raise questions - 0 views

  • Ireland is busy working on legal wording to make the Lisbon Treaty more palatable to Irish voters, but its EU partners have raised concerns about the scope of the texts and some impatience at the pace of the work. Last week, officials from Dublin met representatives from the 26 other member states to shed some light on what kind of wording Ireland is looking for in order to ensure the greatest chance that its citizens will vote "Yes" the second referendum on the treaty, scheduled for autumn.
  • But the reason for the wariness among other capitals is that these texts will take the form of legally-binding protocols, which will be attached to the first legal vehicle available to get them ratified. At the moment, the talk is of Croatia's accession treaty, which will have to pass through all 27 parliaments of the EU. "We want to make sure it is very specific to Ireland, so we do not get asked why we haven't got guarantees on certain issues," said one diplomat.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.11.10: Ireland bail-out in one week, Bulgarian deputy PM says - 0 views

  • The Bulgarian deputy prime minister, who is also the country's finance minister, appears to have let the cat out of the bag on the date of an Irish bailout, telling Bulgarian reporters on Wednesday (17 November) that despite Irish insistence to the contrary, he expects a package will be cobbled together some time next week. Print Comment article "I expect a bailout decision to be taken within a week," Simeon Djankov said at a small briefing following a meeting of EU finance ministers, after reporters asked about the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund's upcoming mission to Dublin.
  • Meanwhile, details on the composition of the EU-IMF troika team, who in effect, through their mission to oversee Irish austerity and budget plans will maintain a degree of authority over the elected government of Ireland, are being kept secret. The European Commission, the IMF and the ECB will not release the names or backgrounds of those involved or even the number of officials in the team other than to say, according to EU economy spokesman Amadeu Tardio: "There will be more than two but fewer than 10 people going."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

12.12.08: Ireland has a diplomatic victory but the real winner is Europe - 0 views

  • But the deal struck, which allows the ratification process to resume in Ireland, with a view to ratification by the end of 2009, maintains the package of institutional reforms that will allow the EU to be better able to deal with these long-term political problems. So, what was agreed and what does it all mean?
  • All governments had agreed that the size of the European Commission should be cut down, as successive enlargements of the European Union turned the Commission from a compact executive into a miniature assembly, and several governments were reported as being reluctant to give up on this reform. This is a major coup for the Irish.
  • In return, the Irish government has committed itself to ratifying the treaty by the end of the term of the current Commission, paving the way for a second referendum on the treaty by October 2009. As far as the composition of the Parliament is concerned, next year's European elections will (if the treaty has not been ratified) elect 736 members. Following ratification, the twelve EU countries due to gain extra seats in the Parliament will obtain them at that point, while Germany will temporarily keep the three extra seats that it would have lost in the event of Lisbon being ratified before the elections. In the absence of a ratified treaty, the six month rotating presidency of the European Council will continue. The Czech presidency will take place, while the following presidency in the second half of 2009 will be responsible for making the arrangements of the new permanent presidency and the proposed External Action Service and Foreign Affairs Council.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

26.11.08: Debates about lisbon-treaty in Ireland and Czechia - 0 views

  • An Irish parliamentary committee is to debate a report arguing that a second referendum on the EU's Lisbon treaty is legally possible. The draft report, first seen by the Irish Times, has been discussed in a private session by the Subcommittee on Ireland's Future in the EU and is due to be presented to the joint Committee on European Affairs on Thursday (27 November).
  • It argues that a second poll on the EU's new reform treaty - following the debacle in June when the Irish voters rejected the document by a clear majority - would be preferable, suggesting a vote on the same text but accompanied by clarifying declarations on controversial issues.
  • Meanwhile, Prague is expecting a verdict from the Czech constitutional court on whether the EU reform plan is in line with the Czech constitution after a heated exchange between the country's president and government officials in the courtroom on Tuesday (25 November). The Czech Republic is the only country that has not yet voted on the Lisbon treaty. Despite this fact, the republic is preparing to take over the helm of the EU from France in January, when it assumes the six-month rotating EU presidency, and must then lead talks with Ireland on how to solve the institutional problem.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

21.01.09: Polish president won't sign Lisbon before Irish referendum - 0 views

  • Poland will not complete the final step of ratification for the EU's Lisbon treaty until after Ireland has had its second referendum on the document, the Polish president has reiterated. While noting that his country does not intend to be an obstacle to the bloc's ratification of the text, Lech Kaczynski said he would only sign off on the treaty if Irish citizens say Yes in the new vote, expected in autumn.
  • The president's tough stance comes despite the Polish parliament's foreign affairs committee on Tuesday passing a resolution for him to yield. "The parliament requests the president to respect the will of both houses of parliament and to finish the process of ratification as quickly as possible," the resolution - which is to be voted on in plenary on Thursday - says, according to Rzeczpospolita.
  • Besides Ireland and Poland, Germany - which is awaiting a ruling by its highest court on legal challenges to the text - and the Czech Republic have also not yet ratified the EU treaty.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

12.03.08: Ireland to hold EU treaty referendum im June - 0 views

  • The Irish government has indicated that the country's highly anticipated referendum on the EU treaty will take place in the second week of June.
  • Ireland is the only country to have a referendum on the EU treaty, meaning that between now and the poll, the government and Irish voters will be carefully watched by both politicians and media from around Europe. All 27 member states must ratify the treaty for it to come into force, with the goal for this to take place being the beginning of next year.
  • So far, five countries have ratified the treaty - France, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary and Malta. But in other countries, the treaty question is becoming tangled up in other issues. Slovakia was forced to put off a vote on the treaty due to an internal dispute over media law, while the Finnish media is reporting that semi-autonomous Aaland - an island between Finland and Sweden - is kicking up a fuss over snuff. Finnish state broadcaster YLE reports that the Aaland government may reject the EU treaty - and undermine the country's general ratification of the treaty, due to a row over the right to sell snuff, a smokeless tobacco.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

14.06.08: "No" in Ireland - 0 views

  • In a resounding defeat for the treaty, only ten out of 43 Irish constituencies voted in favour of the Lisbon Treaty. A majority of Irish people - 53.4 percent - voted against the EU's Lisbon treaty in Thursday's referendum, while 46.6 percent voted in favour, according to final results released Friday (13 June). Participation was at 53.13 percent.
  • Labour: 'Lisbon is dead' His Yes coalition ally, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore, however disagreed with Mr Cowen that it should be "full-steam ahead". "The Lisbon Treaty is dead," he said in a separate RTE interview. "Ireland cannot ratify it – therefore Lisbon falls." "This has to be recognised by everybody – by the Taoiseach [the Irish prime minister], by other member states." "This proposal is now gone." Other Irish politicians were scornful of the idea of continued ratification. European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso earlier in the afternoon had said the remaining ratifications "should continue to take their course."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

18.06.08: A better Plan B - how to deal with the No vote in Ireland - 0 views

  • The Irish No vote to the Lisbon treaty is causing headaches for many in Europe because the new basic treaty of the European Union has been in the making for more than six years and it has already been ratified by national parliaments in 18 member states. However, it is now rather clear that the new treaty is unlikely to enter into force according to the planned schedule – early next year.
  • There are two ways to proceed to take this direction without establishing a core Europe, forgetting about the necessary reforms altogether, or disregarding a binding vote of the people and isolating Ireland.
    This comment is discussing two different ways - and their pros and cons - to deal with the No vote in Ireland.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.06.08: Irish No side rejects additional protocols - 0 views

  • The various and often conflicting groups that made up the multi-headed No campaign in Ireland want any European institutional interpretation of why Irish people voted the way they did to take on board their key demands. The groups, particularly those on the left, are worried that European leaders are already cooking up protocols on "non-institutional issues" that can be bolted on to the treaty to ensure its passage in a possible second referendum.
  • "A couple of protocols, whether on neutrality or taxes is not enough because the very heart of the Lisbon Treaty will not have been changed in any way," said Patricia McKenna, a former Green MEP for Ireland and leader of the People's Movement, one of the main No campaign groups.
  • On the weekend, the European commission organised a 'flash' poll of 2000 Irish voters to find out the reasons behind their vote. According to the Irish Independent, more than 70 percent of those who voted No did so because they thought the treaty could be renegotiated. The unreleased survey also found that many people who do not normally vote in elections turned out this time, that people who said they did not understand the treaty tended to vote No; and that increased immigration played a role in the No vote.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.06.08: EU mulls Lisbon Treaty sweeteners for Ireland - 0 views

  • As EU foreign ministers try to breathe life back into the Lisbon Treaty, the charter of institutional reforms rejected by Irish voters last week, Dublin is likely to be offered stronger guarantees in the sensitive areas of taxation, defence and family policies. According to the Financial Times, "explanatory protocols" should explicitly state that the document does not affect Ireland's ability to set its own tax rates, the country's neutrality status or its abortion policy.
  • Another solution being floated involves a legal assurance that Ireland will never lose its seat at the European Commission table, the Irish Times reports. The Lisbon Treaty enables EU leaders to put the reduction of the size of the commission on ice. Either scenario is expected to be agreed at the first top-level meeting of EU leaders under the French EU presidency in October.
  • Irish No will not put brakes on EU enlargement Aside from the size of the next European Commission - now capped by the current EU rules - a question mark hangs over the 27-nation bloc's capacity to absorb new members. The Nice Treaty is tailored to no more than 27 member states. When asked about the prospects of EU hopefuls' accession to the EU, Mr Rupel excluded any changes to the process. "The outcome of the Irish referendum in no way changes enlargement policy...The EU unanimously decided to invited the countries of the Western Balkans to take membership so there is no doubt about that," the minister said, but added: "How we will carry that out that is another question."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

22.01.2007: Ireland to keep critical eye on any constitution changes - 0 views

  • Ireland is keeping a watchful eye on any possible changes to the European Constitution calling on member states to maintain the "balance of the entire package", the country's minister for European affairs said in an interview with EUobserver. "We are very concerned that the balance will be maintained within the whole package," Noel Treacy said, adding that his colleagues in charge of justice and foreign affairs are following the negotiations closely.
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