- The Irish 'no' to the Lisbon Treaty: Ireland's voice and Europe's exit?
- Zeitschrift für Staats- und Europawissenschaften
- Pages (from-to)
- Issue number
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Center for European Law and Governance (ACELG)
The "no" of the Irish electorate against the Treaty of Lisbon has hit the European elite
hard. However, it was not directed against support for the EU as such but rather against
a deliberately unintelligible Treaty. Lack of knowledge seems to have played a pivotal
role in the voting behaviour, as those who know little about the content of the Treaty
turned out to be more likely to vote "no" than those who had good knowledge about it.
After some initial reluctance, the European Council adopted a "European solution" to
the problem in December 2008, providing some concessions to the Irish concerns as
articulated by the Irish government. This will now be worked out in the form of a legally
binding protocol to the Treaty of Lisbon that will "piggy-back" on the next accession
Treaty. In addition, Ireland succeeded in extracting the major concession from the European Council that each Member State would retain its "own" Commissioner, provided
the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force.
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