Foreign Policy Blogs

Countdown

CountdownIt's June 1st and that leaves only a short twelve days for pro and con EU Treaty campaigners in Ireland. They have their work cut out for them, according to recent polls. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that “NO” campaigners are gaining ground, particularly among the conservative and the country's large farming population who see approval of the Lisbon Reform Treaty as relinquishing too much sovereignty to Brussels. According to the Times, the gap is narrowing (with Yes voters at 41 per cent and the No voters at 33 per cent), but primarily due to the fact that the Treaty as such is hardly a rallying ground on which to base an inspiring campaign. “Soporific” is apparently the adjective that comes to mind, according to the Times, when voters are asked to describe how they feel about the changes enshrined in the document. True, it is a far cry from the ‘People's Pamphlet’ the original Constitution set out to be, but the provisions for greater democratic participation of both European and national parliaments remain in place. But the ‘Yes’ campaign certainly has its work cut out for itself, while European policy makers are offering their assistance toward turning the vote in their favor. As all 27 Member States have to approve the Treaty – though most, given the debacle in France and the Netherlands three years ago, are resorting to parliamentary majorities – Ireland's vote has a particular significance because it could unhinge a project that was so precariously put back together after the last two referenda in 2003 sent the entire project back to the drawing board. This is the second time, after the Nice referendum that Ireland holds such sway over the fate of the Union as a whole. We will follow the last days of campaigning closely in the pages of this blog.

 The English language version of German weekly, DER SPIEGEL also rounds up the campaigners efforts in Ireland.

 

Author

Cathryn Cluver

Cathryn Cluver is a journalist and EU analyst. Now based in Hamburg, Germany, she previously worked at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, Belgium, where she was Deputy Editor of the EU policy journal, Challenge Europe. Prior to that, she was a producer with CNN-International in Atlanta and London. Cathryn graduated from the London School of Economics with a Master's Degree in European Studies and holds a BA with honors from Brown University in International Relations.

Areas of Focus:
Refugees; Immigration; Europe

Contact

Great Decisions Discussion group