Could we be voting on the ESM Treaty Amendment also?

Four Courts, Dublin's main court building.
Four Courts, Dublin's main court building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Independent TD, Thomas Pringle of Donegal South West, is taking the Government to court claiming that the ESM Treaty ratification should have been via a referendum rather then just a vote in the Oireachtas.

This treaty change is linked to the Fiscal Compact which Ireland will be having a referendum on ratification on May 31st.

Deputy Pringle is concerned that the European Stability Mechanism treaty and the Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (Fiscal Compact) treaty raised “serious legal difficulties” both in Ireland and Europe.

“In effect [the treaty] can direct the State to raise sovereign debt, give the money so raised to it and can then decide, where, when, whether and how it is to be spent,” he said. “Therefore Ireland will not have power to control decisions regarding the use of funds raised by it.”

“What if a majority of voters in the May referendum on the fiscal compact vote in favour of imposing permanent austerity rules on the country in order to get access to a proposed permanent euro zone loan fund only to discover that the treaty to establish that fund is illegal under EU law and unconstitutional in Ireland and may never in fact come into force,” he said.

A plenary summons was lodged at the High Court last Friday and served on the chief State solicitor that day. A copy was also sent to the offices of Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.

Deputy Pringle said he was forced to take this action as he had not received a reply to letters sent by his solicitors to Mr Kenny and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan raising issues with the treaties.

This will be an interesting case as this will be the first case challenging the state’s ratification of a state treaty since Raymond Crotty challenged the states ratification of the Single European Treaty. It will be interesting if the court will make any recommendations on treaty ratifications when no power is being transferred.

Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for and UCC Express.

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