Lisbon Essay (21): Europeans cannot opt out of globalisation and its problems…

Richard Gowan notes that with the changing of the guard at the US Whitehouse President Obama is not likely to constrain himself to old alliances to deal with the problems of a much larger and more complex (not to mention more dangerous) world than most of us knew growing up… Richard notes that already huge amounts of time are being chewed up in 27 sets of bilaterals on different sets of policy initiatives … And he argues that since the … Read more

Lisbon Essay (20): After eight years of intense political negotiation it is time to move on…

Margot Wallström the current Vice-President of the European Commission lays out her case for Lisbon. In particular she notes the high level of distrust lingering in some circles with regard to the changes agreed (ie Ireland’s right to a commissioner, and the legal guarantees), but argues that these are political decisions the unbinding of which would have severe political consequences for whomsoever tried to do it. She also argues that whilst the dangers of a race to the bottom are … Read more

Lisbon Essay (19): A No vote will stop the drift to ‘undemocracy’…

Jason Walsh argues that when you strip away the contralto hyperbole of some of the more extreme claims of No campaigners like Coir, there is more than a grain of truth to their case that Irish sovereignty is under attack, primarily because multilateral institutions do not take national sovereignty seriously any more. The default assumption is that primary field of play is now on the multilateral plane… Worse than that, he argues, that all manner of powers (fiscal control has … Read more

Lisbon Essay (18): Giving the Celtic Tiger back its growl

Today Martin Schultz, leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament argues that a yes to Lisbon is essential to reviving Ireland’s fortunes (a view previously supported by LE11 but opposed in LE5 (and in this follow up from Stephen Kinsella). The question, he argues, is not apocalyptical. It about making Europe more transparent and democratically accountable by strengthening parliamentary rights at the national level. The benefits of the Union to smaller countries like Ireland, … Read more

Lisbon (17): Without the treaty Ireland cedes its interests to bigger fish…

Senator Deirdre de Burca argues that for all the legitimate misgivings surrounding the beefing of a European foreign policy, not least round those concerns in LE4 and LE16, the mere act of the EU coming together in a single multilateral body to tackle issues like climate change, international terrorism or with wild hiccuping in global markets. Collective action is not a choice, it is a necessity. Without that capacity Ireland can have little hope that its own interests that will … Read more

LIsbon Essay (16): Building of a militaristic trojan horse…

Today Andy Storey of UCD takes a contrary view of Ireland’s neutrality status post Lisbon to that expressed in LE13, and argues that whatever other countries mean by ‘neutrality’ in Ireland for generations now it has meant, as outlined in Lisbon’s ‘legal guarantees’ “non-membership of a military defence alliance”. He also questions whether it really is in Ireland’s interest to contribute to “a more assertive union [EU military] role … will contribute to the vitality of a renewed [NATO].” And, … Read more

Aiste Liospóin (15): Ag líonadh na bearnaí daonlathais…

Creideann Aonghus Ó hAlmhain go mbeidh torthaí fónta ar Chonradh Liospóin, torthaí a chuireann le gné daonláthach an Aontais agus, anuas ar sin, cuireann siad lena éifeacht. Maíonn sé nach mbeidh ról nua an Uachtaráin ar an gComhairle Eorpach nios mó ná ról chathaoirligh nó ról mholtóra. Dar leis go dtugann staitistic amháin léargas ar an ghné sin – agus is mór idir é agus na postaeiri atá crochta ar chuaillí Bhaile Átha Cliath. Is é sin go mbeidh suíochán … Read more

Lisbon Essays (14): Women of Ireland, what will it be?

Gerard O’Neill speculates on whether or not women will decide the Lisbon vote. They were the largest single group (numerically) to swing the last vote to a No. He observes that neither side have particularly targeted the female voter. This is largely correct, if the evidence my camera-phone in Dublin last week is anything to go by, (although Coir’s new Heart poster campaign seems almost entirely directed at women). Left to their own devices, Gerard reckons women may just swing … Read more

LIsbon Essay (13): Ireland cannot commit to anything beyond “the Chinese veto”…

Ben Tonra argues that the concerns around sovereignty and military interventionism (LE4) betray a timidity in Ireland’s sense of its own sovereign power, rather than an assertion of it. He argues that Ireland rather than retiring into the corner, should use the opportunity being opened by Lisbon and press forward and into spaces where its troops can proactively do some good, rather than “howling, free and unfettered, from the shores of the Atlantic”. Here’s a question – why would anyone … Read more

Lisbon Essay (12): Three decades of building Irish independence inside the EU…

Today Conall is the first of our Yes essayists to tackle the question of what has happened to Irish sovereignty through its thirty six year membership of what began as the European Economic Community, then became the European Community, and is now known as the European Union. He notes that in 1973, Ireland went in in lock-step with – and on terms largely negotiated by – the UK, but that in the time that has elapsed since the Republic has … Read more

Lisbon Essay (11): Both long and short term investors require certainty…

Today Senator Paschal Donohue rises to Stephen Kinsella’s challenging essay (LE5) makes a case that actually a Yes or a No does have the capacity to influence Ireland’s economic future. The result either way, he argues, will affect two crucial factors: confidence in those who will be asked to shoulder the country’s substantial and growing debt; and the potential for the country to continue to attract FDI if and when the ‘faucet’ resumes its flow. He argues that a No … Read more

Lisbon Essay (10): Ireland’s opportunity to kill Lisbon in the water..

Nigel Farage of UKIP has spent a lot of the last week trying to make up for something of deficit in credible speakers on the No side of the Argument. The UKIP leader here argues that the Irish people wider responsibilities than just their own futures. With less than 1% of the European Union’s population Ireland is only country that’s allowed a free vote on whether Lisbon goes ahead or not, and offers substantial evidence that a second No vote … Read more

Lisbon Essay (9): They have not secured a single change to the text of the Lisbon Treaty

Eoin O’Broin lays out the core of Sinn Fein’s objections to the Lisbon Treaty. In line with the party’s position just after last year’s vote, their objection is primarily that nothing of any substance has changed in the meantime. The guarantees and the solemn declaration in favour of workers rights do not change in slightest the text of the document. He also points out that the self amending clause in the treaty undermines the Crotty (et al) judgements and means … Read more

Lisbon Essay (8): The deadening paradoxes of the Lisbon debate…

Last one of the week is from our own Brian Walker who lays out an interesting historical perspective on the matter that too often dares not speak its own name on the Yes side of this debate. The vexed issue of Irish sovereignty. It’s a far from trivial concern, as Joe Higgins laid out in Lisbon Essay 4, but Walker notes “…supremacy, like sovereignty, does not carry through into all levels of everything”. Instead he predicts the problem the European … Read more

Lisbon Essay (7): Slowness, endless negotiations and bureaucracy are the EU’s strength…

It seems sometimes that the integrity of Ireland’s ancient struggle with its neighbour has left it in a semi detached mode in its relations with (and historical memory of) the wider interests (and the conflicts therein) of the rest of Europe. Rónán O’Brien writes of his conviction that the European Union has done much to mediate the effects of raw nationalism and brought peace to much of a continent that was previously continuously shaped by ethnic and nationalist warring… He … Read more

Lisbon Essay (1): The treaty would isolate Ireland – a ‘No’ vote would free her

My post yesterday on the poor quality of the debate around Lisbon brought positive feedback from some unexpected quarters… It also brought in a short blog essay contribution from the young editor of the Eurosceptic European Journal, Jim McConalogue. It marks the first a series of guest essays on the broad subject of Lisbon that will run each morning here on Slugger from the No, Yes, and no fixed opinion camps right up until polling day on Friday 2nd October. … Read more

A united archipelago..

With the number of countries implementing the Schengen agreement now increased to 24, the Irish Times tries, once again, to start a reasoned debate on whether the Republic of Ireland should also join. From Monday’s editorial [subs req] “On the map of the Schengen area Ireland and Britain are conspicuous absentees on the west of the continent, along with the main Balkan states, Turkey, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Moldova and Russia to the east. New lines are being drawn. Asked recently whether … Read more

So sign up to Schengen…

The most interesting point to emerge from today’s optically orientated 9th meeting of the British Irish Council wasn’t the quibbling about the financial package – it ain’t going to change significantly – it was the mention of gaps in security, which Dermot Ahern stated was referring to the Schengen Agreement.. and Gordon Brown agrees. The Alliance Party have previously made mention of this Agreement but the focus appears to be on different proposals than those presented by that party. [It … Read more

Economics.

James Kelly in the subscription only Irish News, is getting fed up with the seemingly endless series of constitutional crises, and suggests that NI Plc is being seriously neglected in all the furore. Meantime, out in the real world away from the political hothouse, voices are being heard protesting about the political stranglehold which is choking economic growth here. One such voice is that of Jim Berry, a specialist on planning and development at the University of Ulster. He is … Read more