"I want to believe obstinately that neither the French nor the Dutch have rejected the constitutional treaty. A lot of the questions in the French and Dutch debates find answers in the constitution. But the voters - and this is why we need this period of explanation and debate - did not realise that the text of the constitutional treaty, the nature of the constitutional treaty, aimed to respond to numerous concerns."
~Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Premier and holder of the EU presidency, International Herald Tribune, 18-19 June 2005 ~

The Lisbon Treaty directly invites the Court to outlaw the low Irish tax rate at 12,5

There is a much easier legal base for fighting distorted competition. This is Art. 116 TFEU allowing the Council to decide by a majority vote. The Commission start the process by sending a letter about the distortion to the Member State concerned. If the Member State does not change the distorting element the Commission can go to the EU Court or propose a law to be adopted by qualified majority. Here there is no Irish veto. This article has not been used for taxes, yet. But there is no guarantee that it cannot be used; On the 17th of January 2008 the EU Court overruled a Danish law on the taxation of Danes possessing secondary housing in Denmark or/and abroad. There was no connection to the common market at all.Finland was forced to change their taxation of pensions in the Danner case. Denmark lost a tax case on pensions as well.It is naïve to believe that the new Union could not reach the low Irish corporate tax by other means than direct harmonisation of tax rates. More »
09-06-08 | 22:15 |

8 Reasons to Vote No to Lisbon

Article 113 of the Lisbon Treaty specifically inserts a new obligation on the European Council to act to avoid ‘distortion of competition’ in respect of indirect taxes. The proposals for a common consolidated tax base and the commitment of the French government to pursue it combined with a weakening of Ireland’s voice in Europe through the loss of a permanent Commissioner and halving of its voting weight represent a clear and present danger to our tax competitiveness. More »
06-06-08 | 11:38 |

Irish IBEC, Fine Gael & Labour cannot be trusted on taxation

Fine Gael and Labour MEP’s voted in the EU Parliament in favour of the Bersani Report, which called for the introduction of common consolidated corporate tax base, and criticised countries like Ireland that stand in its way. More »
06-06-08 | 11:35 |

Lisbon treaty: EU democratic process in question

On February 4 2008, the French Parliament voted in the bill modifying title XV of the French Constitution in Versailles, and three days later, on February 7, the Treaty of Lisbon was formally ratified. The Lisbon Treaty, which provides for the reform of the EU’s institutions, was drawn up to replace the draft European constitution, which was first rejected on May 29, 2005 by 55% of French voters and then on June 1, 2005 by 61% of Dutch voters. How did we go from the voters’ refusals to the adoption of the text by Parliament in 2008? Before the 2005 public vote, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, chief author of the constitution, declared: ‘It is a good idea to have chosen the referendum, so long as the outcome is yes.’ And one year later: ‘The rejection of the constitution was a mistake which will have to be corrected.’ In spite of the French and Dutch noes, some countries did adopt a constitution which had little chance of success, an indication that the initial project was not amendable: ‘If it’s a Yes, we will say ‘On we go’, and if it’s a No we will say ‘We continue.’ (‘¦) If at the end of the ratification process, we do not manage to solve the problems, the countries that would have said ‘No,’ would have to ask themselves the question again.’ Why then was so imperative a text chanced to be put to a public vote? Pro-Europeans, who were convinced that their project would arouse popular enthusiasm, may have shown too much optimism. More »
05-06-08 | 20:08 |

The Lisbon Treaty's impact on the European Security and Defence Policy

As the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty comes closer, some Irish citizens might be asking about the Treaty’s impact on the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). This issue of EUWatch tries to give an answer to such questions. In particular it analyses the Lisbon Treaty’s respective provisions and their possible impact on the ESDP highlighting the sensitive positions of the non-aligned Member States. Current problems of the ESDP and its relations to other defence alliances are critically analysed, outlining possible solutions for the establishment of a genuine European defence alliance. For older EU Watch issues, see http://indemgroup.eu/48/
03-06-08 | 14:56 |

Why I find myself in bed with the Shinners on Lisbon treaty

Harmonisation is Euro-babble for maximising both taxes and central power, and might one day enable the European Court of Justice to rule that Ireland’s 12.5pc rate of corporation tax, compared to Britain’s 28pc and Germany’s 30pc, is a “distortion of competition” (what a lovely term). Why should we sign a deal, by which some future Euro-judge might declare our tax regime to be illegal, when that is the reason for our prosperity? More »
30-05-08 | 16:10 |

European Parliament to ban Eurosceptic groups

The European Union assembly’s political establishment is pushing through changes that will silence dissidents by changing the rules allowing Euro-MPs to form political groupings. Richard Corbett, a British Labour MEP, is leading the charge to cut the number of party political tendencies in the Parliament next year, a move that would dissolve UKIP’s pan-European Eurosceptic ‘Independence and Democracy’ grouping. Under the rule change, the largest and msot pro-EU groups would tighten their grip on the Parliament’s political agenda and keep control of lavish funding. More »
28-05-08 | 20:41 |


The Lisbon Treaty is the constitutional culmination of the federalist project which has been the political dynamic of European integration ever since the Schumann Declaration of 1950 proclaimed the European Coal and Steel Community to be “the first step in the federation of Europe”. The EU commemorates that Declaration on 9 May each year – Europe Day. Fifty years later, in 2004, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt proclaimed the EU Constitution to be “the capstone of a European Federal State”.When the French and Dutch rejected the EU Constitution in their 2005 referendums, the Prime Ministers and Presidents decided to give the EU the constitutional form of a Federation indirectly rather than directly. This the Lisbon Treaty does by amending the two existing European Treaties instead of replacing them entirely by a formally titled Constitution. But the legal-political effect is the same. More »
27-05-08 | 11:45 |


The difference between the original Constitution and the present Lisbon Treaty is one of approach, rather than content … The proposals in the original constitutional treaty are practically unchanged. They have simply been dispersed through the old treaties in the form of amendments. Why this subtle change? Above all, to head off any threat of referenda by avoiding any form of constitutional vocabulary … But lift the lid and look in the toolbox: all the same innovative and effective tools are there, just as they were carefully crafted by the European Convention. More »
27-05-08 | 11:43 |

Forum on Europe booklet confirms WTO veto abolished by Lisbon Treaty

For several weeks, we have scoured the Treaty to find Ireland’s veto on the WTO talks, and it simply isn’t there, – it has been abolished. This means that Ireland, which does have a special interest in the area of WTO talks and in agriculture particularly, will lose its ability to block major deals that are harmful to us. This fact is confirmed by the Forum on Europe’s own booklet on page 64. The consequences of this veto being abolished are of the utmost importance to Ireland. We are left exposed, and without recourse in the event of a major unfriendly policy initative. This mess is as a result of the spectacular failure by the Government to negotiate Lisbon correctly. There are holes and back doors in this document everywhere you look. More »
20-05-08 | 13:25 |