What political leaders across the EU have revealed about the Lisbon Treaty.- On the Lisbon Treaty
- On the effects of the EU on our economy
- On selling the EU Constitution as a Treaty
- On giving the EU power over our taxes
- On fooling the electorate with regard to the Lisbon Treaty
- On giving more power to the EU
On the Lisbon Treaty
“Ireland’s EU commissioner Charlie McCreevy has said that every political leader in Europe knew that a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty would have been rejected by 95 per cent of the 27 member states.”
Irish Times, 28/06/2009
“I haven’t read it cover to cover,”
An Taoiseach Brian Cowen on the Lisbon Treaty, Morning Ireland, 13/05/2008
“The former Irish finance minister admitted he hasn't read the entire treaty himself and said he doesn't expect "any sane and sensible person" to read it from cover to cover.”
EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy on the Lisbon Treaty, Irish Times, 23/05/2008
On the effects of the EU on our economy
Asked about the causes of the recession during ‘The Last Word with Matt Cooper’ on Thursday, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan put it down to, ‘cheap credit from the European Central Bank, and the availability of cheap labour after 2004 was a factor as well,’
Irish Mail on Sunday, 28/09/2009
But here’s what they said earlier….
"There is no reason to believe...... that large numbers of workers will wish to come"
Minister Dick Roche Irish Times Letters 12/7/2002
"It is a deliberate misrepresentation to suggest that tens of thousands will suddenly descend en masse on Ireland."
Prionisas. De Rossa, Labour MEP, Irish Times Letters 20/8/2002
Between 400,000 and 500,000 workers came to Ireland from other EU member states. They now make up 20% of our unemployment rate.
Don’t blame them: the EU and Irish politicians caused this mess.
On selling the EU Constitution as a Treaty
"The good thing about not calling it a Constitution is that no one can ask for a referendum on it."
Giuliano Amato, former Italian Prime Minister and Vice-Chairman of the Convention which drew up the EU Constitution, speech at London School of Economics, 21 February 2007
"The substance of what was agreed in 2004 has been retained. What is gone is the term 'constitution' ".
Dermot Ahern, Irish Foreign Minister, Daily Mail Ireland, 25 June 2007
“We were quite happy. We were more interested in protecting the substance… Thankfully they haven’t changed the substance; 90 per cent of it is still there.”
An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern Irish Independent, 24 June 2007
"The substance of the constitution is preserved. That is a fact."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speech in the European Parliament, 27 June 2007
"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."
V.Giscard D'Estaing, former French President and Chairman of the Convention which drew up the EU Constitution, The Independent, London, 30 October 2007
"Virtual incomprehensibility has thus replaced simplicity as the key approach to EU reform. As for the changes now proposed to be made to the constitutional treaty, most are presentational changes that have no practical effect. They have simply been designed to enable certain heads of government to sell to their people the idea of ratification by parliamentary action rather than by referendum."
Dr Garret FitzGerald, former Irish Taoiseach, Irish Times, 30 June 2007
On giving the EU power over our taxes
"The deliberately unworkable proposals (for a common consolidated tax base in the EU) amount to a Trojan horse to enable the Commission take control of taxation", Commissioner Charlie McCreevy suggested. He said that it was part of a "long-term hidden agenda - a sinister idea that refuses to die"
Even more sinister, said the Competition Commissioner, were plans to give the lion's share of consolidated tax revenues to bigger countries like Germany and France at the expense of smaller nations.
It was clear from 50 years of history "and the reality of the institutional continuity of the Commission and its culture" that no matter how often certain proposals might be turned down, the officials sneak them out in different guises, he said.
Irish Independent, 12 May 2007
"The currency union will fall apart if we don't follow through with the consequences of such a union. I am convinced we will need a common tax system."
German Finance Minister Hans Eichel, The Sunday Times, London, 23 December 2001
On fooling the electorate with regard to the Lisbon Treaty
"Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly ... All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way."
V.Giscard D'Estaing, former French President and Chairman of the Convention which drew up the EU Constitution, Le Monde, 14 June 2007, and Sunday Telegraph, 1 July 2007
"France was just ahead of all the other countries in voting No. It would happen in all Member States if they have a referendum. There is a cleavage between people and governments... A referendum now would bring Europe into danger. There will be no Treaty if we had a referendum in France, which would again be followed by a referendum in the UK."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy,at meeting of senior MEPs, EUobserver, 14 November 2007
"They decided that the document should be unreadable. If it is unreadable, it is not constitutional, that was the sort of perception....imagine the UK Prime Minister - can go to the Commons and say 'Look, you see, it's absolutely unreadable, it's the typical Brussels treaty, nothing new, no need for a referendum.' Should you succeed in understanding it at first sight there might be some reason for a referendum, because it would mean that there is something new."
Giuliano Amato, former Italian Prime Minister and Vice-Chairman of the Convention which drew up the EU Constitution, recorded by Open Europe, The Centre for European Reform, London, 12 July 2007
On giving more power to the EU
“In a union of 27 member states it is neither practical nor sensible to expect that every decision should be taken unanimously.”
An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, Irish Times, February 1st 2008
"The Constitution is the capstone of a European Federal State."
Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister, Financial Times, 21 June 2004
"Are we all clear that we want to build something that can aspire to be a world power? In other words, not just a trading bloc but a political entity."
Commission President Romano Prodi, European Parliament, 13 February 2001
"It is true that we are experiencing an ever greater, inappropriate centralisation of powers away from the Member States and towards the EU....By far the large majority of legislation valid in Germany is adopted by the German Government in the Council of Ministers, and not by the German Parliament ...The proposed draft Constitution does not contain the possibility of restoring individual competencies to the national level as a centralisation brake. Instead, it counts on the same one-way street as before, heading towards ever greater centralisation.”
Former German President Roman Herzog and former president of the German Constitutional Court, article on the EU Constitution, Welt Am Sonntag, 14 January 2007
"One must act 'as if' in Europe: as if one wanted only very few things, in order to obtain a great deal. As if nations were to remain sovereign, in order to convince them to surrender their sovereignty. The Commission in Brussels, for example, must act as if it were a technical organism, in order to operate like a government ... and so on, camouflaging and toning down.
The sovereignty lost at national level does not pass to any new subject. It is entrusted to a faceless entity: NATO, the UN and eventually the EU. The Union is the vanguard of this changing world: it indicates a future of Princes without sovereignty. The new entity is faceless and those who are in command can neither be pinned down nor elected...
.. I don't think it is a good idea to replace this slow and effective method - which keeps national States free from anxiety while they are being stripped of power - with great institutional leaps...Therefore I prefer to go slowly, to crumble pieces of sovereignty up little by little, avoiding brusque transitions from national to federal power. That is the way I think we will have to build Europe's common policies..."
Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, before he became Vice-President of the EU Constitutional Convention, interview with Barbara Spinelli, La Stampa, 13 July 2000