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  • The Lisbon Treaty passed in the House of Representatives of Ireland on 29th April 2008

  • The Lisbon Treaty passed in the Senate of Ireland on 9th May 2008

  •  Lisbon Treaty was rejected by referendum on 12th June 2008

Political Situation

12 July 2008 EU leaders are now cotinuing the ratification process of the EU and thus disrespecting the voice of the Irish people. 27 member states need to ratify a treaty before it can come into force.  The only way for this to happen with the Lisbon Treaty is for Ireland to vote again on the treaty. This seems highly likely and the second referendum on the Lisbon

20 June 2008 - After the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland EU leaders decided today after the EU summit meeting that they would give Ireland time to see why the Irish voted no and then come up with a solution about to go forward.

13 June 2008 The Lisbon Treaty was rejected by the Irish people. 46.4% votes for and 53.6% against, with a turnout of 53%.

Ireland is the only EU member state where binding referendums are required on all EU treaties.

Ratification Process(es)

Ratification without the need for a constitutional amendment

A majority of parliament is needed for ratification. (Art. 29 V VI Constitution of Ireland) for the transfer of sovereignty with out an amendment to the Constitution.

However a binding referendum is always required for a transfer of power as they require constitutional amendments which makes a referendum mandatory.

A decision to create a common defence by the European Council shall not be adopted if Ireland were to be included (Art. 29 IV 9 Constitution of Ireland).


Ratification with the need for a constitutional amendment

Regulation for a transfer of power with affects the constitution is not expressly provided for, however a constitutional amendment is needed. For the Constitution to be amended a majority for both chambers in parliament is needed as well as a mandatory and binding referendum (Art. 46, 47 Constitution of Ireland).


Other Constitutional Regulations on Referendums

For a bill which does not amend the constitution a referendum can still be called by a majority of the parliament or at least 1/3 of the senate (Art. 27 Constitution of Ireland).

Ratification of the old Constitution

Referendum was postponed after the French and Dutch no votes.

Support for a European Constitution

62% of the Irish population are in favour of a constitution for the European Union. (Eurobarometer 67 June 2007)

Referendums Held on European Issues

  • 1972: EU - Accession (Yes 83 % - No 17 % - Turnout 71 %)
  • 1987: Single European Act (Yes 70 % - No 30 % - Turnout 44 %)
  • 1992: Treaty of Maastricht (Yes 69 % - No 31 % - Turnout 57 %)
  • 1998: Treaty of Amsterdam (Yes 62 % - No 38 % - Turnout 56 %)
  • 2001: Treaty of Nice (No 54 % - Yes 46 % - Turnout 35 %)
  • 2002: Treaty of Nice (Yes 63 % - No 37 % - Turnout 49 %)
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