Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/534/4136

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 May 2008

Ireland: Vote no to Lisbon Treaty and EU militarisation!

THE TREATY of Lisbon was signed on 13 December 2007 at a summit in Lisbon, Portugal and is due to come into force in 2009, if successfully ratified by all EU member states. The treaty was drawn up to replace the draft European constitution after that was thrown out by voters in France and the Netherlands in 2005.
Ireland will hold a referendum on the treaty on 12 June 2008. Joe Higgins, the Socialist Party TD (member of Irish Parliament) for Dublin West from 1997-2007, explains why the Socialist Party (CWI) in Ireland calls for a No vote.

IN THE Lisbon Treaty, the provisions relating to the foreign policy of the European Union and the proposed military strategy have very serious and far-reaching implications. If Lisbon is ratified, no Member State could have an independent foreign policy that was in conflict with the EU majority.

This means that, even if a big majority of the Irish people vehemently opposed, let us say, a particular EU military action outside of Europe, the Irish government would be obliged to support that action internationally.

Paragraph 27 of Lisbon states: "The Member States shall support the Union's external and security policy actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity and shall comply with the Union's action in this area."

Not only that, but according to Paragraph 50, Irish embassies around the world would be obliged to propagate the official EU line. "The diplomatic missions of Member States... in third countries and international organisations shall cooperate and shall contribute to formulating and implementing the common approach."

The supporters of the treaty try to cover this up by insisting that the Treaty recognises the right of 'neutral' countries to opt out of any military campaign.

This is true but they refuse to confirm that Ireland would be obliged to give political, moral and propaganda support. Of course, the word 'neutral' is utterly debased and meaningless in the context of the Irish government's logistical support to the US Army at Shannon Airport in the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Supporters of the treaty also pour scorn on the idea that the EU would ever be involved in an Iraq-like situation, claiming that the EU is entirely a project for peace. In fact, it is not at all far-fetched to warn of the militarisation of the EU as a step to backing up its economic weight around the world, in the same way as the United States uses its armed forces.

Military intervention

The Common Foreign and Security Policy paragraphs speak of advancing the "vital interests" of the EU and authorises military action abroad under a very wide range of headings, such as "joint disarmament operations... military advice and assistance... tasks of combat forces in crisis management," and, of course, "the fight against terrorism." In fact, the language of the Lisbon Treaty has uncanny echoes of that of the Bush administration in its justification for the invasion of Iraq.

Nor is it far-fetched to sketch out an Iraq-like situation involving the EU. Recently, former British Prime Minister Blair, co-leader of the Iraq invasion, was mooted as one of the candidates for the new position of President of the European Council. According to the treaty, the President, who is appointed by the EU governments "shall ensure the external representation of the Union on issues concerning the common foreign and security policy."

No less than 15 EU Member States had troops in Iraq at some stage of the occupation. With right wing governments in power in the EU, with a character like Blair as the nominal head of the union and with vital interests at stake, ie the securing of raw materials and the profits of the major corporations, we can well imagine foreign military adventures.

Lisbon, in fact, carefully creates the structures for armed intervention abroad. It demands increased military spending, and organises an EU armaments industry under the newly formed European Defence Agency.

It also allows groups of the more powerful military powers within the union to form military alliances among themselves which may then be authorised to act abroad on behalf of the EU. This would be an official EU operation and no matter what, Lisbon obliges all Member States to support it.

Waste

The militarisation strategy alone is reason enough to roundly reject the Lisbon Treaty. A 'No' vote in this regard is a 'Yes' to an end to the criminal waste of resources on armaments and to developing a foreign policy that is to the benefit of European workers and working people, the oppressed and the impoverished millions around the world.


Report of Joe Higgins in a TV debate on the Lisbon Treaty:
Former Socialist Party TD (MP) condemns attacks on workers' rights

No to privatisation

BIG BUSINESS interests are highly organised within the EU. For example, 45 of the biggest EU based multinational corporations are organised in a group called The European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT).

Included are giants like Siemens, Royal Dutch Shell, Nestle and Heineken. Between them, they have an annual turnover of 1,300 billion and employ 3.8 million workers.

This economic power gives big business organisations like the ERT huge political influence also. What is considered good for the profits of big business is good for Europe.

The Lisbon Treaty lays the basis for a further extension of privatisation. It calls for a system in the 'internal market' to ensure 'that competition is not distorted' and calls for 'uniformity in measures of liberalisation.' This is code for hiving off to the corporate sector important parts of public services, the most profitable parts of course.

The alternative to the neo-liberal policies in the Lisbon Treaty is a socialist approach. The main corporations and major financial institutions should be put under public ownership and democratic workers' control.

In this way, resources could be planned for the benefit of the majority, public services could be improved dramatically and decent wages and working conditions implemented for workers.

In essence we stand for a democratic workers' Europe, rather than the big business club that currently operates.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 21 May 2008:

Step Up Fight Against Low Pay!

Force more u-turns out of this weak government


Housing crisis

Build Affordable Homes Now!


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison members say 'no' to witch hunt

Reasons to be cheerful about the trade unions

Public-sector workers say pay up!

National Shop Stewards Network second conference advert


Socialist Party campaigns

Give us back our Post Office!

Fightback saves Cardiff school

Southampton students: 'Don't gag us'

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

Glasgow: BNP not welcome here

100% rise for health bosses

Global food crisis

Them and Us: The great divide


Environment: Nuclear power

Nuclear industry's 'green' camouflage


London Olympics

London Olympics 2012: A great sporting occasion and a great profit-making opportunity


France 1968 - month of revolution

France 1968: Be realistic - demand the impossible!

International discussion on the way forward for socialists

Video: 'France 1968, month of revolution' London meeting

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference


International socialist news and analysis

China: Earthquake disaster exposes regime's failings

Lebanon: Hezbollah routs pro-US Siniora government forces

Ireland: Vote no to Lisbon Treaty and EU militarisation!

France: Workers and youth resist Sarkozy's attacks


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 May 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Ireland:

triangleBuilding workers' struggle and the forces of international socialism

triangleWeakened Tories forced into Northern Ireland abortion u-turn

triangleJobstown victory: protest is not a crime!

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: The DUP, Northern Ireland, and socialism vs sectarianism

triangleVerdict in Jobstown case - All defendants cleared by jury!

EU:

triangleWorcestershire Socialist Party: Brexit - a socialist programme for leaving the bosses' EU

triangleGlobal finance: Are those storm clouds ahead?

triangleRight wing attempts to use single market against Corbyn

triangleG20 betrays refugees created by its own policies

Privatisation:

triangleRMT condemns Welsh government rail privatisation

triangleVictory against 'the biggest single NHS privatisation'

triangleBin workers stand firm

Socialist Party:

triangleBirmingham bin workers - fighting back wins!

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

Portugal:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Netherlands:

triangleTurkey: Erdogan seeks sweeping dictatorial powers in referendum

Dublin:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Dublin - Jobstown verdict; What it means

France:

triangleFrench elections: Macron's win

Iraq:

triangle'From Militant to the Socialist Party' - new book now available

International

International

15/8/17

US

US: neo-Nazi violence reawakens resistance

9/8/17

Peru

Workers' struggles in Peru: eyewitness report

9/8/17

Venezuela

Venezuela: Capitalist offensive sharpens after assembly elections

26/7/17

CWI

Building workers' struggle and the forces of international socialism

3/7/17

Ireland

Jobstown victory: protest is not a crime!

28/6/17

Jobstown

Jobstown Not Guilty - verdict imminent

28/6/17

Climate change

Trump and the fossil fuel corporations - a lethal combination for the planet

21/6/17

Elections

French elections: Macron's win

21/6/17

France

French elections: time to build a fighting left alternative

14/6/17

France

France - Huge voter abstention belies Macron's 'landslide' election

14/6/17

CWI

International news in brief

31/5/17

Catalonia

Heroic socialist fighters who sang as ship went down - new memorial

31/5/17

South Africa

South Africa: burning anger

24/5/17

CWI

International news in brief

24/5/17

US

Trump regime faces deepening crisis

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle17 Aug Vital Derby women's services under threat - campaign calls on council...

triangle17 Aug Birmingham bin workers - fighting back wins!

triangle15 Aug US: neo-Nazi violence reawakens resistance

triangle9 Aug Angry bin workers enter fifth week of strike action

triangle9 Aug Young, angry and fighting back

triangle9 Aug Striking back against poverty pay

triangle9 Aug Marx's Capital at 150: an unequalled analysis and critique of...

More ...

triangle22 Aug Derby Socialist Party: Israel/Palestine - one state or two?

triangle23 Aug Salford Socialist Party: Why Marxism opposes terrorism

triangle23 Aug Hackney Socialist Party: Northern Ireland - the DUP deal and Brexit

triangle23 Aug South-East London Socialist Party: USA - The fight against Trump and the struggle for a socialist alternative

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2