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On The Treaty - Fact & Fiction
How A Yes campaigner spun reality
The difference between the arguments of the yes and no side is that the yes side quite often make grand claims about the benefit of voting yes for the Lisbon Treaty. They then repeat these claims over and over again; repetition however will not make these claims true. They take an article of the Treaty and spin its words into something that is often quite far away from the facts. This is why, in general, they are afraid of a real debate: because you can easily find examples in the Treaty where you can PROVE them wrong!
Here I want to give you a recent example of a speech by the Irish Secretary of European Affairs Dick Roche given at the “Joint Committee on European Scrutiny” on 29 April 2008. First read parts of his speech (in which he used the term “revolution” or “revolutionary” about 10 times). Then read the facts – the articles – of the Lisbon Treaty and then please make up your own mind whether the Roche speech is a spin or not.
“while the bulk of the treaty was evolutionary, it was revolutionary in the way it extended democracy in the European Union. I am at a loss to understand how people who profess to have an interest in democracy can suggest the treaty does anything other than make the largest historical step in the history of the European Union in extending the democracy in the Union.“ “(...) the Lisbon Treaty represents the biggest single transfer of powers to all the parliaments of the European Union in the history of the Union. It represents a revolutionary step forward.” (...) “This is a revolutionary step forward in terms of democracy. All national parliaments are being brought into the legislative process at an earlier stage than ever before.” (...) “It cannot be emphasised enough that this is truly revolutionary. It gives the citizens of the member states, whether they are natural or corporate, a much earlier opportunity to have an input into the law-making process, to influence the process and to articulate their concerns.”
Please do read these lines with some of the original text of the Lisbon treaty (feel free to read the whole of it on the Council website):
Protocol (No 2) on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality states:
Any national Parliament or any chamber of a national Parliament may, within eight weeks from the date of transmission of a draft legislative act, in the official languages of the Union, send to the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission a reasoned opinion stating why it considers that the draft in question does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity. (...)
Article 7 (1) paragraph 2
Each national Parliament shall have two votes, shared out on the basis of the national Parliamentary system.
Article 7 (3)
(...) Under the ordinary legislative procedure, where reasoned opinions on the non-compliance of a proposal for a legislative act with the principle of subsidiarity represent at least a simple majority of the votes allocated to the national Parliaments (...) the proposal must be reviewed. After such review, the Commission may decide to maintain, amend or withdraw the proposal.
The Court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction in actions on grounds of infringement of the principle of subsidiarity by a legislative act (...)
What do we learn from that? FACTS:
And please make up your own mind whether this is a spin or not.
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