What will the Lisbon Treaty really mean for Ireland?
These are the Key Points:
1. Loss of Sovereignty
The Treaty provides for the appointment of a permanent EU president, elected by European leaders. It also creates an EU foreign minister, termed the “High Representative”.
This official will have the power to create foreign policy without consulting member states (Article 18).
The Lisbon Treaty obliges Ireland to support every EU military action, in violation of the Irish Constitution’s affirmation of the country’s dedication to “peace and friendly co-operation amongst nations” (Article 29).
3. Charter for War
Article 24 of the Lisbon Treaty states: “The Member States shall support the Union’s external and security policy actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity and shall comply with the Union’s action in this area.”
In other words, if the High Representative decides to engage in military action, Ireland will have no choice but to support it, even if the conscience of the nation opposes it.
4. The Common Defence Force:
Article 42 compels member countries to “undertake progressively to improve their military capabilities.” The Treaty compels Ireland to become part of a Common Defence Force, which will stand as a counterpart to NATO.
The recent participation of Irish troops in Chad as part of a EU peacekeeping force is a sign of future trends.
Contrary to statements by pro-Treaty campaigners, neutrality will not be protected in the Constitution. The proposed Amendment states that no provision of the Constitution can overrule the Treaty.
There is a strong emphasis within the Lisbon Treaty on free trade and “competition”. Article 3 sets out the EU’s powers of establishing “the competition rules necessary for the functioning of the internal market.” This will facilitate the privatisation of public services such as the health service, transport, education etc.
One example of this process is Directive 2002/39/EC (The Postal Service Directive). Full agreeement was reached in 2007 in Lisbon, to fully implement this law.
This will lead the complete privitisation of postal services across Europe, starting on 31st December 2010
6. Competition Policy:
This competition policy forces state providers to compete with private companies for the provision of public services. In negotiating trade agreements, Article 207 states that, “the Council shall act by a qualified majority.”
This means that Ireland, or any other country will never again be able to negotiate trade terms to suit its individual needs.
Vote No to the Lisbon Treaty