Friday, June 12, 2009

Lisbon Treaty Still in Doubt

EU Flag Ireland For awhile, it appeared that the Irish were ready to vote "yes" in a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, also referred to at the EU Constitution, which would clear the way for the Treaty to go forward for the rest of the EU.  There was talk that the referendum would be held in October and polls showed a majority of Irish in favor this time.  However, the "yes" vote is conditional on changes in the language of the Treaty in three areas.  Ireland is looking for guarantees on ethical issues, such as the ability to prohibit abortion, tax sovereignty, that is, the ability to keep its low corporate tax rate, and the ability to maintain its neutral status in the face of closer cooperation between EU Member States in the area of foreign policy.  However, the language of those guarantees has not been finalized despite the fact that the EU ambassadors began meeting yesterday to consider and vote on those changes.  There is concern among EU Member States that the changes may reopen debate on certain issues and jeopardize the approval for the Treaty that has already been given by some Member States.  The EU representatives are scheduled to continue meeting until next Tuesday, so there is still time for a deal to be reached


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