1. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    The EU and the Lisbon Treaty

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Banzai, Oct 2, 2009.

    Since the lovely people of the Republic of Ireland are currently hard at work (potentially) obsoleting the big, expensive new EU Law textbook I bought today, I thought this would probably be a good time for this thread.

    So to all citizens of EU member states (this probably isn't relevant to the yanks and aussies amongst you, but if you want to make an informed comment, feel free), what are your thoughts on the Union, the Lisbon Treaty, and the repeated referendums (or lack thereof)?
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps you could fill us yanks, aussies, and cannucks on what it is, because I haven't heard of it, but it sounds like it might be interesting.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    It's essentially the 2005 European Constitution, dressed up as a treaty. The constitution was dropped after the French and Dutch both voted against it in a referendum (it required unanimous ratification to come into force).

    The Lisbon Treaty is basically supposed to streamline the EU, amongst other things making most of the decisions majority, rather than unanimity, and an elected EU president. It also gives legal force to other elements of the Union, which until now were more advisory things than legal imperitives.

    The main concern of it to eurosceptics is that it will expand the power of the EU over competencies of national governments. Also, the worrying thing to me is that the Irish already rejected the Treaty in a first referendum, and the EU's response was to ask them again, until they give the correct answer...
     
  4. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is this an affront to sovereign independence with participant nations surrendering some of their self-governance?
     
  5. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    My head feels like it's exploding already.
     
  6. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    The one thing that makes me suspicious of the EU is the fact that they continue to force their ideas. The Lisbon Treaty is a difficult thing to understand, as it covers so much. If that does mean that people continue to vote against it, it is also a good way for the EU to hide something.

    I don't think the idea of the EU is bad; a united Europe would be the world's most powerful military force, and the world's richest economy. I don't trust the politicians, especially those, such as Labour, who don't do what the people want, to make it work. They'll definitely do something to make it far more powerful than it should be.

    Yes. I think that European leaders want to be able to claim that they united Europe, and are pushing any opposition out of the way. The European Union can already change laws of independent countries, to make them more compatible with its own, and many of its most powerful areas are made up of unelected officials.
     
  7. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unelected? Considering how much Canadians hate their senate for that very reason, I can understand why you don't like the EU.
     
  8. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I think a large degree of British opposition stems from the fact that we really don't like being dictated to by the continent...
     
  9. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    The Lisbon treaty is a series of amendments to ‘Nice 2’; a European constitution, which, if ratified, enhances the unilateral decision-making powers of the European Union. These powers range from justice and security, taxation, farming, to Ireland’s representation on the European Commission.

    On June 12th, 2008, the Irish government put a referendum to the people, hoping their YES campaign would prove successful. It is accepted now that they underestimated the people’s desire for truth, plus their dissatisfaction with Europe’s role in Ireland’s socio-economic development.

    Ninety thousand people voted No to Lisbon 1, giving the Fianna Fáil-led government a mandate to renegotiate a new treaty. The government promised to commence a process of consultation with the EU commission, to see how Ireland’s interests could be best utilised in achieving a new, negotiated treaty.

    They promised there would be no repeat of Nice, where the initial No vote was overturned in a second referendum, but it didn’t take long before the expected about-turn came to fruition, followed by a carefully orchestrated campaign, loaded with scaremongering stories of how Ireland will be left behind by a forward moving Europe. They promised us our initial fears had been sorted by guarantees and ‘solemn’ protocols.

    The guarantees are simply verbal clarifications that change nothing in the original text, and the ‘solemn’ protocols are semantical verbiage which will hold no bearing after the next EU elections in 2014. They do nothing but belie the fact that Lisbon 2 is the same treaty as Lisbon 1. The same treaty the Irish government were given a mandate on, and which they are now hoping will be overturned.

    If this happens, our voting strength on the EU Council will be cut by half, and we will lose our commissioner, though it won’t happen until 2014. We will also, under article 48, lose our automatic right to hold referenda on future EU constitutional changes.
     
  10. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    How popular is this treaty with other EU members? Something like this could lead to the EU being disolved due to disputes between the national governments and the new federal government. Afterall, that's what sparked the American Civil War, and in our case, the southern states were never an indepent nation and the cultures between the north and south weren't nearly as different as between the various EU members.
     
  11. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's popular with the governments, but unpopular with the people. It seems that the entirety of many regions of Britain are opposed to it, and from what I've read about the popularity of right-wing parties across Europe, I don't think Britain's unique.

    The EU has always had to keep things secret to gain power; it didn't make it public that the treaty in 1972 would give the EU the ability to change the laws of the countries that signed it, and it's made no effort to explain what the Lisbon Treaty is. It has refused to say how many laws are created by the EU, rather than an independent government, but it's supposed to be more than three quarters.

    If you add up the costs of enforcing that legislation, most of which is paid to the EU rather than to people involved in the work, then it's more than a thousand pounds from every single person in Britain. A hundred and fifty billion pounds a year.
     

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