News / Europe

EU Treaty Has Long Road Ahead

British Prime Minister David Cameron leaves an EU summit in Brussels on December 9, 2011.
British Prime Minister David Cameron leaves an EU summit in Brussels on December 9, 2011.
Dominic Laurie

Analysts are saying the new EU treaty will leave the UK isolated within Europe. But how much of a done deal is it? Ireland is one of the 26 countries that has said it will push ahead with the treaty. But already its European Affairs Minister has said Friday that country could require a referendum to push it through. And it's far from certain people will say yes.

"Across the world, people will see that we've learned from mistakes made in the past - that credibility is the top priority," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  She joined other European leaders in agreeing that this treaty pushes Europe to a more united future.

All except one country, Britain, which refused to sign off on the deal, because it thought it failed to protect its key financial services industry.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "What was on offer is not in Britain's interest, so I didn't agree to it."

However the leaders of 26 countries did feel it was in their sovereign interest.

Agreement between politicians is one thing. Passing a new treaty into law is another. Now is the difficult part.

Some countries will decide that parliamentary approval will be enough. However, others though may decide the treaty needs to be put to the popular vote.

Ireland’s Europe minister Lucinda Creighton said Friday there was a 50-50 chance the treaty will be put to a referendum. The government will make that decision in the next couple of weeks.

Ireland's Ciarán Toland led the campaign in favor of the last two big EU treaties to be put to the Irish people. He’s says it’s too early to say whether one will be called now.

"From a political pint of view, a referendum could be beneficial," said Toland.  "There is no question that a referendum in the present Irish context would be difficult to pass, but also there are many reasons why the Irish people would respond favorably to such a referendum"

The trouble for the Irish government is that EU referendums have proved to be a tricky business in recent years.

The Nice treaty in 2001 and the Lisbon one in 2007 were both rejected the first time around before modifications and arm-twisting secured the passing of both the second time around.

The last two referendums passed when the economy was still growing in Ireland. But now, with the economy languishing, the public may be even more reluctant to vote for more EU integration.

In Dublin, department stores are full of discount price tags.  Market vendors, too, are suffering.

Two in central Dublin says times are tough.

"They're looking for things like 10 euro 20 euro, that's it, you know," said one.

Which is a change from before...

"Ah, sure, like you know, six, 10 years, six years ago there would be a 40-50 euro spend, you know," said another vendor. "But it's still hard."

Despite the euro currency’s recent trouble, there are still several countries wanting to join. Only on Friday, Croatia finally signed its accession treaty to become the 28th member of the EU. With stagnating economy, can Ireland afford not to be a full member of the club?

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid