This was posted earlier today as a guest blog on the GenerationYes website
The Lisbon Treaty will increase your rights. The Lisbon Treaty brings in two things which the EU has to take into account when making new directives and regulations. What are these things? The Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights will bring together all the rights that have come about through EU Laws and judgements. This document will then have the same status as a treaty meaning every thing the EU does must reflect it.
Some say that the Charter is worthless, but if it is worthless why is it too much for the Governments of the UK and Poland?
John Monks, the General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation said in a speech to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in July of this year “it was a step forward compared to existing provisions, for example in relation to the legal enforcements pf the Charter of Fundamental Rights, commitments to full employment, the social market economy and public services”
The Charter sets out your rights in six sections, Dignity, Freedoms, Equality, Solidarity, Citizens’ rights, and Justice. Article 2 specifically protects the right to life, so the charter will not lead to abortion.
The second aspect is that the Lisbon Treaty will allow the EU to sign up to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Ireland is already signed up to this and it has brought about a number of human rights for people in Ireland. Having the EU sign up, means that if we think the EU has infringed on our rights we can take them to court. This is an important development for citizens and it means the EU has to be aware of our rights in everything it does.
The EU of course has led to many improvements in Human Rights in this country, in the area of discrimination especially. Equal pay, discrimination in the workplace and other rights protections have been brought in in Ireland thanks to the EU.
So let us keep human rights at the core of Europe and Vote Yes on October 2nd.