Thursday, 27 July 2006

Two-thirds of Ireland's laws now come from brussels…


And Bertie Ahern, Enda Kenny, Mary Harney and Pat Rabbitte want this proportion to increase

On 29 April 2005, the German Federal Ministry of Justice stated that between 1998 and 2004, a six-year period, 23,167 legal acts were adopted in Germany, of which 18,917 – or 80% – were of EU origin. This was stated in a written answer in the German Bundestag to a question from CDU/CSU MP Johannes Singhammer. The same laws originating in Brussels will have been applied in all Member States of the EU, but the number of laws of domestic origin will vary from State to State. As Ireland is a unitary rather than a federal State like Germany, there should be a higher proportion of domestically generated laws here, so the Irish figure for legal acts of EU origin should be two-thirds or so of all our laws. Laws are divided between primary legislation and statutory instruments implementing primary legislation.

The proposed EU Constitution would expand the EU’s law-making powers in over 60 policy areas, so that if it were to be ratified the EU would make an even higher percentage of our laws. Yet Bertie Ahern and Mary Harney on the one hand, and “opposition” leaders Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbitte on the other, all support our ratifying the EU Constitution.

By Anthony Coughlan
Secretary of The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, 24 Crawford Avenue, Dublin 9; Tel: 00-353-1-8305792