Monday, May 18, 2009
A recent poll indicates that a slight majority of the Irish population (52%) now support the Constitution for the European Union (EU). Ireland is a rarity among EU member states in requiring that a popular referendum be held before the treaty may be ratified. The Irish rejected the treaty last June by a vote of 53% opposed to 49% in favor. Irish ratification is dependent on certain legal guarantees from the EU regarding taxation, defense, and abortion. Assuming those guarantees are approved by the EU at its summit in June, it is anticipated that a referendum will be held in Ireland in October. All the other 26 member states of the EU have completed parliamentary ratification of the treaty, although the Polish and Czech Presidents have not signed pending Ireland's ratification. Thus, a favorable referendum in Ireland in October will allow the EU Constitution to enter into force.