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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora