Here is Part one of my series of posts calling for a Yes vote to the treaty of Lisbon. This is an over view. Each subsequent part will deal with a specific issue.
The treaty [of Lisbon] will improve the way the EU works, it will adapt the EU’s institutions to a union of 27, it will ensure the voice of Europe’s nations is heard more loudly in foreign policy. It brings national parliaments into day-to-day decision making to strengthen subsidiarity, and it focuses the EU on the big external challenges from climate change to migration.
– David Miliband, UK Foreign Secretary, Speaking in the House of Commons Deabte on the Treaty
The case made by [William Hague] that the treaty is unnecessary and somehow threatens the sovereignty of the United Kingdom is frankly absurd. An EU of 27 member states and growing can’t operate on the same basis that only just served the needs of an EU of 15 states. Arguments for trimming the bureaucracy and making the institutions less cumbersome ought to be self-evident.
Edward Davey, Liberal Democrats Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Speaking in the same debate
The above quotes highlight one of the major reasons that the Treaty of Lisbon is essential to the continued operation of the European Union. It will limit the size of the commission and the Parliement insuring that they will continue to operate satisfactorily.
Some of the key issues in the Treaty of Lisbon are:
- A Charter of Fundamental Rights
The Fundamental Rights Charter, proclaimed by the EU in 2000, would be made legally binding.
- A merged foreign representative post
The External Relations Commissioner post merged into the current seat held by Javier Solana.
- Extended role for the parliaments
The directly elected European Parliament gains power by extending the codecision procedure to many areas. National parliaments will also have extended roles.
- Restructured EU policy areas
Double majority voting in the European Council expanded to more areas from 2014 on.
- A President of the European Council
Would replace the currently rotating Presidency of the European Council. 2.5 year term.
- A single legal personality
Enables the EU to sign international treaties.
These will leed to a more democratic and transparent Europe, a more efficient Europe, a Europe of rights and values, freedom, solidarity and security and give Europe a clear voice in relations with its partners worldwide.
To paraphrase David Miliband I believe this treaty is good for Ireland and good for Europe.
I will try and do one post a day if time allows