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Debate: EU constitution reform treaty (Lisbon Treaty)

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*[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6901353.stm "Europe Q&A- The Lisbon Treaty" BBC News. 1 July 2008] *[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6901353.stm "Europe Q&A- The Lisbon Treaty" BBC News. 1 July 2008]
*[http://www.independent.ie/special-features/your-eu/the-lisbon-treaty-for-dummies-1376340.html "The Lisbon Treaty for Dummies". Independent.ie. 15 May 2008] *[http://www.independent.ie/special-features/your-eu/the-lisbon-treaty-for-dummies-1376340.html "The Lisbon Treaty for Dummies". Independent.ie. 15 May 2008]
 +*[http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10024471 "The EU Treaty-What Lisbon Contains". The Economist. 25 Oct 2007.]
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Revision as of 17:56, 25 July 2008

Is the EU Constitution reform treaty a good idea?

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Contents

Background and Context of Debate:

Centralization: Is greater centralization a good thing?

Yes

  • Centralization can facilitate cross-national integration. The benefit is that centralization can facilitate internalizing cross-national spillovers.
  • Lisbon Treaty and integration is the right vision for Europe. Alberto Alesina. "Europe Was Going Too Far". 22 June 2008 - "We think it should be about deep economic integration and the coordination of policies with clearly identifiable cross-national externalities. Nothing more, nothing less."
  • Lisbon Treaty reforms the EU; it does not give it broad new powers Andrew Duff. "Why Ireland must say ‘Yes' to Lisbon". Financial Times. 12 May 2008 - "[The Lisbon Treaty] seeks merely to build upon the Union's existing powers. At no stage in the protracted constitutional negotiations that culminated at Lisbon was it seriously proposed to confer major new competences on the EU. Instead, the new treaty serves to clarify and rationalise the Union's current scope and objectives, notably in the fields of security and defence policy and justice and home affairs. What matters is to strengthen the capacity of the Union to act with efficacy in a more challenging world. This means concentrating on improving legal and political procedures, streamlining instruments and boosting the democratic legitimacy of the institutions. Even the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which in any case builds on the existing corpus of European rights law, is mandatory only within the context of the explicit competences of the EU and the powers of its institutions."


No

  • Lisbon Treaty strips countries of the right to decide values The cost of centralization is mainly that uniform policies are imposed on heterogeneous populations. This means that policies developed in EU institutions are imposed on European countries and populations that may completely oppose those policies.
  • Lisbon is a veiled attempt to push the failed EU Constitution. "The Case for no vote". Lisbon Treaty Information Campaign - "Lisbon is the EU Constitution in another guise – it’s just been repackaged as a Treaty because it was soundly rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005. Lisbon retains 96% of the EU Constitution, and makes it very clear that EU law will be superior to the Irish Constitution. This means your constitutional rights can be overruled."
  • Countries will not be able to maintain neutral policies under Lisbon Treaty.

Global role: Will the Lisbon Treaty improve the EU's global role?

Yes

  • Lisbon Treaty gives greater coherence to EU foreign affairs.


No

Security: Will Lisbon improve the internal security of the EU?

Yes


No

Permanent President of the European Council: Is this an important feature of Lisbon?

Yes

  • European Council presidency is stable and streamlined under Lisbon. "Treaty of Lisbon. The Treaty at a glance". Europa. - "A more stable and streamlined institutional framework: the Treaty of Lisbon creates the function of President of the European Council elected for two and a half years, introduces a direct link between the election of the Commission President and the results of the European elections, provides for new arrangements for the future composition of the European Parliament and for a smaller Commission, and includes clearer rules on enhanced cooperation and financial provisions."


No

Governance: Will the Lisbon Treaty strengthen EU governance, democracy?

Yes

  • Lisbon Treaty improves transparency in the EU.
  • Lisbon Treaty recognizes right of states to withdraw from EU.
  • Lisbon treaty amends EU and EC treaties without replacing them. "Treaty of Lisbon. Taking Europe into the 21st century". Europa.eu. - "On 13 December 2007, EU leaders signed the Treaty of Lisbon, thus bringing to an end several years of negotiation about institutional issues[...]The Treaty of Lisbon amends the current EU and EC treaties, without replacing them."
  • Lisbon Treaty will move EU beyond out-of-date Nice Treaty Andrew Duff. "Why Ireland must say ‘Yes' to Lisbon". Financial Times. 12 May 2008 - "the fact is that to reject Lisbon means having to continue with the Treaty of Nice - which, paradoxically, eurosceptics universally hate. Without Lisbon the EU will continue to be weak in global affairs and clumsy in the domestic arena; parliamentary democracy will remain half-finished, the rule of law impaired and the system of government opaque. Putting more demands on an unreformed Union, for example in the field of climate and energy policy, or in the efforts to combat poverty and discrimination, will be futile. Without Lisbon, the EU will be unable to deliver better public policy." It is generally important to recognize that the Nice Treaty was originally designed for an EU consisting of 6 states. This is insufficient.


No

Taxes: What would the Lisbon Treaty do to taxes?

Yes

Click on the pencil icon and research and write arguments here

No

  • The Lisbon Treaty will result in taxation without representation.
  • Lisbon Treaty would increase taxes in countries that rely on low ones. Lisbon Treaty Information Center. "Case for No Vote" - "The Lisbon Treaty would allow the EU to change our current low tax regime, with disastrous effects for Irish workers and multinational companies attracted here by our low tax rate."


Immigration: Would Lisbon increase immigration and is this a good thing?

Yes

No

  • Countries will regret handing full control over borders and immigration to the EU. "The Case for a no vote. You'll Pay the Price. Wages and jobs". Lisbon Treaty Information Center. - "Our government should have looked for a special protocol to protect Irish workers from the effect of this judgement. Instead they have agreed to make matters even worse by handing full control over our immigration policy to the EU. We'll be forced to accept the common EU policy on immigration and asylum - even when immigrants are coming from countries outside the EU."
  • The Lisbon Treaty would lead to immigrants taking jobs.


Economics: Will the Lisbon Treaty be economically beneficial?

Yes

  • Further Lisbon Treaty integration will benefit economies of EU countries. "Lisbon Reform Treaty - good for women, good for Ireland and good for Europe." Labour party of Ireland. 19 Mar. 2008 - "Membership of the EU has been a resounding success for the Irish economy. It has allowed us to grow from being one of the poorest members upon joining in 1973 to now being one of its most well off. We have benefited to the tune of many billions of euro from European structural funds. By giving us access to a market of half a billion people for our exports, the future importance of the EU to our economy should not be underestimated, especially when media reports are focussing on the downturn in the US and the weakening dollar."


No

  • The Lisbon Treaty will limit national economic sovereignty. "The case for a no vote. Foreign investment in Ireland." Lisbon Treaty Information Campaign - "Lisbon may also be used to limit Ireland's right to encourage foreign direct investment - In other words to prevent us wooing foreign companies here with promises of state aid. Given that a significant number of Irish people are employed by such companies, giving this power to the EU is a dangerous step for Ireland. Our country should never have allowed our country to come under the control of the Common Commercial Policy under Lisbon. The truth is, unless Lisbon is defeated, we are in danger of losing control over our economy."
  • Lisbon Treaty prevents states from attracting companies with low taxes. Ireland is a good example of a state that protested the Lisbon Treaty on the basis that it would constrain its ability to use its low taxes to attract foreign companies to do business in Ireland. This is a concern in all states that use their lower taxes and other incentives to attract foreign companies.


Smaller states: Will Lisbon benefit or hurt small countries?

Yes

No

  • Lisbon Treaty will reduce the power of small countries. "The Case for a No Vote". Lisbon Treaty Information Campaign - "Already two-thirds of our laws are made in Brussels. But Lisbon transfers more power from you – the Irish voter – to the EU. We lose our EU Commissioner and removes decision -making from the Dáil in 32 areas, giving you less power [...] If the Lisbon Treaty is passed our voting weight in the EU Council of Ministers will be slashed by 60%. Germany’s power and influence, on the other hand, will increase by 100%. Lisbon means our voice is weaker in the EU and we lose the power to be heard [...] Lisbon is a power-grab by the big EU states, whose larger populations would give them the biggest say in deciding EU laws. It’s a bad deal for Ireland."


Alternatives: Are there any alternatives to the Lisbon Treaty?

Yes

  • There are no good alternatives to the Lisbon Treaty. Andrew Duff. "Why Ireland must say ‘Yes' to Lisbon". Financial Times. 12 May 2008 - "The second big falsehood is that if Ireland says No, there will be something better on offer. There won't. The Treaty of Lisbon is the best we can do. It is not perfect, and, like the camel, not pretty. Someday it too will need to be revised. But Lisbon is today's consensus. There is no agreement to do anything else - certainly not to embrace the neo-communist agenda of Sinn Féin. This time, there really is no Plan B."


No

Click on the pencil icon and research and write arguments here

Tactics: Are the tactics used by the various camps appropriate?

Yes


No

Pro/con resources

Yes


No

References:

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