"We need a European Constitution. The European Constitution is not the 'final touch' of the European structure; it must become its foundation. The European Constitution should prescribe that. we are building a Federation of nation-States. The first part should be based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights proclaimed at the European summit at Nice. If we transform the EU into a Federation of Nation-States, we will enhance the democratic legitimacy. We should not prescribe what the EU should never be allowed to do. I believe that the Parliament and the Council of Ministers should be developed into a genuine bicameral parliament."
~Dr Johannes Rau, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, European Parliament, 4 April 2001 ~

Guerrilla tactics advance the EU project

It’s not the slyness that shocks; it’s the brazenness. Two months ago, an internal report revealed gross irregularities, even outright criminality, in MEPs’ staff allowances. Now, MEPs have voted to forbid publication of that report. More »
29-04-08 | 13:57 |

Irish farmers on strike to maintain welfare and trade protections as global agriculture booms

Irish farmers supported by agricultural businesses, are to go on strike today to get attention for a campaign to protect the welfare and trade protection privileges of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in opposition to concessions from Europe and the US on access to agricultural products in current global trade talks, in return for a reduction in industrial import tariffs by developing countries. India for example has tariffs as high as 34% on some industrial products. Ireland’s first world economy is a direct result of the previous liberalisation of trade in industrial goods and services between developed countries. Since 1973, Irish agriculture has been the principal per capita beneficiary of the CAP and by 2013 when wealthy Ireland becomes a net contributor to the EU budget, it will have received a 40-year bonanza that will amount to to €41 billion by the time we become a net contributor in 2013. More »
17-04-08 | 15:26 |

The Lisbon treaty – why we should be concerned

Below are the two key sentences of the amendment which you will be asked to put into the Irish Constitution on Thursday 12 June. If people vote Yes they will be giving the European Union the constitutional form of a Federal EU State, in which Ireland would become a provincial state or region. This would be the end of Ireland’s position as an independent sovereign country. The French and Dutch have already rejected this proposal in referendums. By voting No we remain full EU Members based on the Nice Treaty, but we reject the Lisbon Treaty as a step too far. Millions of Europeans who are being denied referendums on Lisbon by their politicians, are hoping that we will say No to it for their sakes. More »
17-04-08 | 10:53 |

Harmonizing Company taxes in the EU – The Lisbon Treaty amendment to Article 113: a significant and virtually ignored amendment affecting Ireland's company tax

The Lisbon Treaty amendment on EU harmonized taxes which has not been publicly mentioned so far in Ireland’s referendum debate. Article 2.79 of the Lisbon Treaty would insert a six-word amendment -”and to avoid distorton of competition” – into the Article of the existing European Treaties dealing with harmonising indirect taxes. The significance of this short but important amendment is that it would enable the European Court of Justice, which adjudicates on competition matters, to decide that Ireland’s 12.5% rate of corporation tax as against Britain’s 28% rate and Germany’s 30% is a distortion of competition which breaches the Treaty Articles dealing with the internal market – Art. 26 and Arts.101-9 TFEU – in relation to which qualified majority voting on the Council of Ministers applies. The Irish Government’s veto under Article 113 would be irrelevant there. More »
17-04-08 | 10:47 |

Lisbon campaign is another bitter betrayal

Whether the Lisbon Treaty is accepted by the Irish public or not, one thing is clear – the Government campaign in its favour is already one of the most deeply dishonest in Irish history. The revelation that the Government has conspired with foreign politicians to deceive its own electorate speaks of profound betrayal. For months, ministers have been calling for a fair campaign based on the facts of the treaty itself. Now we know that all the while the very same ministers have been collluding in a campaign of deliberate misinformation. That the Irish people should be the victims of a dishonest alliance between their own govenrment and outside powers is something many will find very hard to forgive quickly. As for the Lisbon Treaty itself, voters will now find it very difficult to trust a single word the Govenrment says in its defence. At each stage, the aim has not been to inform the electorate but to deceive it. More »
16-04-08 | 21:33 |

Ireland's referendum – Leaked memo to British Government exposes Irish Government conniving with foreign governments to deceive the Irish electorate

The Government has hatched an elaborate plan to deceive voters over the forthcoming EU treaty referendum, the Irish Daily Mail can today reveal. A leaked email shows that ministers are planning a deliberate campaign of misinformation to ensure that the Lisbon Treaty vote is passed when it is put to the public as required by the Constitution. Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern has even been personally assured that the European Commission will “tone down or delay” any announcements from Brussels “that might be unhelpful”. Alarmingly, the email says that ministers ruled out an October referendum, which would have been better procedurally, because they feared “unhelpful developments during the French presidency – particularly related to EU defence”. This suggestion will raise grave fears that the State’s constitutional commitment to military neutrality could be undermined by the treaty – a rehashed version of the failed EU constitution. More »
16-04-08 | 21:27 |

More MEP expenses scandals

In respect of this report the Open Europe Bulletin reports on yet another disclosure from the admirable German reporter Hans Martin Tillack; “MEP expenses scandal: 58 million euros missing. Hans Martin Tillack has revealed that while MEPs are supposed to account for how they spent their 17,000 euro a month office allowance, for the years 2004 and 2005 receipts worth 58 million euros were not produced. Tillack commented that “we are not talking about a few black sheep but a flock which covers half the parliament.” (Stern blog Waterfield blog, 17 March). Tillack was scandalously treated and still has not been compensated or fully accepted. That’s the EU! More »
16-04-08 | 21:21 |

Ireland in tailspin over EU tax pledge

A common corporate tax base would destroy the Irish economy. In a challenging economic environment, the stakes could not be higher. Why would we vote for a treaty that weakens Ireland’s voice at the table at a time when there is a huge army of special interests lining up to try and deprive us of the one economic tool that we still have? More »
09-04-08 | 21:20 |

France to push for EU company tax

A common tax base would be the first step towards harmonisation of tax rates More »
08-04-08 | 11:20 |

Constitutional implications of the Treaty of Lisbon

The Treaty of Lisbon is an attempt to construct a highly centralised European Federation artificially, from the top down, out of Europe’s many nations, peoples and States, without their free consent and knowledge. If there is to be a European Federation that is democratically acceptable and politically legitimate, the minimum constitutional requirement for it would be that its laws would be initiated and approved by the directly elected representatives of the people either in the European Parliament or the National Parliaments. Unfortunately, neither the Lisbon Treaty nor the EU Constitution which it would establish contain any such proposal. More »
07-04-08 | 22:05 |