The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre is based in Ireland at 24 Crawford Avenue, Dublin 9. Tel.: +353 (0)1-830-5792. nationalplatform (at) nym . hush . com
It advocates a Europe of Independent, Democratic, Cooperating Nation States
WHO ARE WE: The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre is a voluntary research and information body on EU affairs. Its Director is Anthony Coughlan, who is an economist and Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. He acts as coordinator of a loose group of lawyers, economists and politically interested people who come to the fore when their expertise is needed. The group seeks to produce legally accurate documentation on EU matters for the use of organisations and individuals on the centre, left and right of Irish politics who are concerned at the development of the EU in an undemocratic and highly centralised direction. Its members stand for a Europe of independent, democratic and cooperating Nation States.
OUR ORIGINS: In 1986 when the Irish Government sought to ratify the Single European Act (Treaty) by majority vote of the Dáil (Parliament), a number of professional lawyers along with Anthony Coughlan and others advanced the view that, according to the Irish Constitution, the surrender of sovereignty to Brussels which the SEA involved could only be done by the Irish people themselves in a referendum.
They invited the late Raymond Crotty, the distinguished economist, to challenge the Irish Government’s proposed mode of ratification in the Courts, which he courageously did.
In its judgement the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Crotty. It is the Irish people, not its politicians, who alone can amend the country’s basic law, the Constitution. Any surrender of sovereignty to the European institutions must therefore be decided by the people themselves in a referendum. Therefore the Single European Act could only be ratified by popular referendum, not by parliamentary majority vote.
This referendum was duly held in 1987 and the Single European Act(Treaty) passed into law, having received majority approval of the people.
It is because of this Crotty judgement that successive EU Treaties have had to be put to referendum in Ireland.
Activities: The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre has been actively involved in all subsequent EC/EU referendums, mainly in providing documentation and a speaker service to other organisations.
It was also involved in supporting the McKenna(1995) and Coughlan(2000) cases before the Irish High Court and Supreme Court. These led to two important Supreme Court judgements governing fair referendum procedures. The McKenna judgement prevents the Irish Government from using public funds to obtain a particular result in a referendum. The Coughlan judgement requires that there should be equality in the allocation of free broadcasting time in referendums.
The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre is affiliated to The European Alliance of EU-critical Movements(TEAM) and its Director is President of the Foundation for EU Democracy, Brussels. It has no party-political, religious or ideological affiliations or orientation, apart from supporting the principle of a Europe of independent, democratic, cooperating Nation States.
Between one half and two-thirds of legal acts affecting Ireland each year now come from Brussels. The European Treaties amending the Irish Constitution on which referendums have been held are:
Ireland’s Accession Treaty to the European Communties (1972)
The Single European Act (1986)
The Maastrict Treaty on European Union (1993)
The Treaty of Amsterdam (1998)
The Treaty of Nice (2002), on which two referendums were held, as the Irish
people rejected this Treaty in 2001 and the Government re-ran the same
Treaty under different referendum rules in 2002.
The Treaty of Lisbon, which was rejected in the 12 June 2008 referendum and
which the Irish Government proposes to re-run unchanged in a second
referendum in autumn 2009
DONATE TO HELP OUR WORK: We are a wholly volunary body and depend on private donations to meet the expense of researching and circulating our documentation. If you would like to help this work, please send a donation to us at the address above. Cheques should be made out to our account at the Bank of Ireland, No.30081817