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EU regulation sounds “death knell” for Irish agricultural shows

The Irish Times

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

EU rule likely to leave a bad taste with bakers


TRADITIONAL bakery exhibitions are at risk of being consigned to history thanks to a new European directive.

New EU regulations have banned the consumption of cakes and confectionary entered at country fairs and agricultural shows immediately after baking competitions.

The chairman of Mayo County Council, Cllr Joe Mellett, said the new rules were the “death knell” for the Irish agricultural show.

“When you see things like this it’s no wonder the people voted No to the Lisbon Treaty. This will be the end of the traditional baking competition at local shows across the country, therefore impacting on local revenue. It’s just ridiculous.”

Under the rules adjudicators of bakery sections in local shows are only permitted to taste the traditional favourites such as apple tarts or cheese cakes. Once the judging is over, the produce must be immediately destroyed. As a result, only bite-sized versions of the cakes will be entered in shows.

The directive has already been made law in Scotland.

Mr Mellett, one of the founding members of his own local agricultural show in Swinford, said he “could not believe” the latest EU directive.

“Honestly, when I saw this first I thought it was something to do with April Fools’ Day. I just couldn’t imagine someone sitting down and coming up with this rule.

“It is a real deterrent to those entering shows. If you thought your prize produce was going to be destroyed immediately after a tiny taste was taken from it, then you would not want to enter a competition.”

He added: “Local people are doing their best to continue on traditions, particularly in places like the west of Ireland, and this is what they are met with.”

© 2008 The Irish Times

The Irish Government lines up with Brussels against the Irish people

* Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Minister Michael Martin give in to Franco-German and EU Commission pressure to permit the remaining Lisbon ratifications to continue, when they could have stopped these by saying that Ireland cannot and will not ratify the Lisbon Treaty, as the Irish people have rejected it.

* The Irish Government lines up with Brussels against the Irish people rather than stands by the people’s democratic decision of last week to defend it vis-a-vis Brussels – so as to bring about a 26/1 situation by year’s end with which to bludgeon Irish voters in a referendum re-run.

* Talk of “respecting” Ireland’s vote turns out in practice to be a cover for setting out to overturn it in a referendum re-run, with Brian Cowen’s, Michael Martin’s and Dick Roche’s full support – and behind a thick barrier of hypocrisy, spoofing and lies.

Friday 20 June 2008

* These are the three principal lies Irish Government Ministers and the EU people are telling to hide their first steps towards preparing this Lisbon referendum re-run:

* LIE NO.1: That the nine EU States that have not yet ratified Lishon have a “right” to do so irrespective of the Irish No. There is no such right under either EU law or customary international law. Brian Cowen could stop any further ratifications by saying to his EU partners that he respects the Irish No, that because of that there is no question of trying to overturn it by re-running the referendum, and that therefore Lisbon is dead because Ireland cannot ratify it and there is no point any other ratifications continuing, for Lisbon cannot come into force unless all 27 ratify it. British Foreign Secretary David Milliband underlined this point last weekend when he said that it depended on Brian Cowen whether Lisbon was alive or dead.

* LIE No. 2: Minister Dick Roche was up to this usual spoofery on “Morning Ireland” today when he attacked Patricia McKenna for saying that the French and Dutch Governments stopped further ratifications of the EU Constitution in 2005 after their peoples voted No in their referendums. Minister Roche said that Luxembourg held a referendum on this Treaty after the French and Dutch No and in his usual gentlemanly fashion accused Ms McKenna of “telling lies”. In fact, as the Minister is well aware, the Luxembourg referendum was held shortly after the French and Dutch referendums but BEFORE the French and Dutch Governments decided they would not re-run them, and therefore that they could not ratify the Constitutional Treaty – which led the remaining EU States, including Ireland, to abandon further ratifications at that time.

Messrs Cowen, Martin and Roche are spoofing like this, with their EU confreres helping them, to try to cover up the fact that the Irish Government is urging the nine remaining EU States to continue with their ratifications so as to bring about a 26/1 situation which can then be used to pressurise the Irish people to turn their No into a Yes in a second Lisbon referendum.

It is Messrs Cowen, Martin and Roche who are failing to “respect” the Irish people’s No vote by effectively telling the other EU States not to respect it either, but to continue with their ratifications. Why should the other EU States respect last Thursday’s referendum result when the Irish Government does not respect it, but sets out rather to subvert it, as they decided to do even while the voting tallies were being counted on Friday morning last?

Remember Foreign Minister Martin saying at luncthtime on the day of the count that “of course” the remaining ratifications would continue. Remember Commission President Barroso’s at his press conference held before the count was even finished, following a phone chat with Taoiseach Cowen, saying the same thing.

If Messrs Cowen, Martin and Roche had a scintilla of the political courage and statesmanship of the founder of their Party, they would be telling their EU counterparts that they had no alternative but to open up Lisbon and work out a better Treaty for Ireland, for Europe and for a more democratic EU, instead of the supranational EU Federation, with laws made on a population basis, which is what is on offer in Lisbon.

* LIE NO.3: That the other EU States can go ahead with the Lisbon Treaty provisions under the rules for “enhanced cooperation”. The barrack-room lawyers of the Irish media are speaking here. It is the enhanced cooperation rules of the EU Treaties as amended by the Nice Treaty that currently apply. It is nonsense to suggest that the enhanced cooperation provisions of one Treaty, viz. Nice, can be used to bring into force the far wider provisions of another Treaty, viz. Lisbon.

* NB: The number of EU Commissioners must be decided unanimously.
Under the current Nice Treaty(Protocol on the enlargement of the EU, Article 4), a reduction in the number of Commissioners to fewer than the number of Member States must be decided unanimously in 2009. Under the Lisbon Treaty(Article 17.5 TEU) the number of Commissioners must be reduced by two-thirds from 2014, “unless the European Council, acting unanimously, decides to alter this number.”

At their next summit meeting in October or December the European Council of Prime Ministers and Presidents will make a “European decision” that when it comes to allocating EU Commissioners in 2014 in the post-Lisbon EU, Ireland and all Member States will be permitted to retain a permanent Commissioner, although in practice there may be senior and junior Commissioners. Because both the Nice and Lisbon Treaties lay down that arrangements for the Commission require unanimity, a commitment on these lines can be given without opening Lisbon.

Taoiseach Cowen will present this as a triumph for Irish diplomacy, while his EU colleagues will smile cynically to themselves. Then various Declarations will be given – to meet Irish concerns on company taxation, human rights, neutrality etc. – which will be tagged on to the Lisbon Treaty, but wll not alter a jot or tittle of its contents.

What threats or implicit threats will be needed to go with these promises? The most obvious one is that Irish voters will be told, as they were not told over the past months – that the Lisbon Treaty aims to establish a constitutionally new Federal Union and that the Irish must decide whether they want to be members of this or not, or do they want to keep the present EU as it stands under the Nice Treaty rules.

The other Member States still cannot ratify Lisbon and establish this new Union without Ireland’s agreement. But the hope will be that this mix of promises and implicit threats will suffice to overturn the Irish people’s No in Lisbon One and turn it into a Yes in Lisbon Two.

A peaceable democratic popular revolt in Ireland and across the EU is needed to prevent this happening and to prevent the anti-democratic Lisbon Treaty-cum EU-Constitution being clamped on most of the peoples of our continent.

– Anthony Coughlan


Alert: Euro-Federalists already planning to subvert Irish Referendum results

The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre
24 Crawford Avenue
Dublin 9

Tel.: 01-8305792 ;
Web-site nationalplatform.org

Media statement

Friday afternoon, 13 June 2008

Foreign Minister Michael Martin and other Irish Euro-federalists are already planning to subvert the Lisbon Treaty referendum result by urging the other EU States to continue with their ratification process instead of telling them that Ireland cannot ratify the Lisbon Treaty as it stands, and that further ratifications elsewhere are therefore pointless, and the Treaty must be reopened.

EU Treaties must be ratified unanimously. Each country ratifies a Treaty on the assumption that all other countries will do so too. If one country says that it cannot ratify a Treaty as it stands – in Ireland’s case because the Irish people have rejected it – there is no point in the other countries proceeding, and the Irish Government should request them to stop.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen now faces a momentous choice.

Will he align himself with his own people and respect the Irish people’s vote by telling his EU colleagues that Ireland cannot ratify Lisbon as it stands, and therefore there is no point in the remaining States continuing with their ratifications?

Or will be align himself with the other EU States against the Irish people, and urge the former to proceed with their ratifications on the assumption that Ireland will re-run the referendum when everyone else has ratified, as Bertie Ahern did with Nice. For that is the implication of other EU States now proceeding with ratifying the Treaty with the Irish Government’s encouragement.

Mr Bobby McDonagh and the top civil servants in Iveagh House will already be planning a joint response with France and Germany to insist on the ratification process continuing. Foreign Minister Martin’s comments on lunchtime radio today about other countries “of course” continuing with their ratifications, reflects the policy the Iveagh House people will be urging.

The Irish No vote is on a much more substantial turnout than the 35% of Nice One in 2001. The No majority is much stronger. It reflects much wider concern at the way the EU project is going. Representative members of the Irish political class have broken with the predominant uncritical consensus on the Euro-Federalist project – Shane Ross, Declan Ganley, Bruce Arnold, Ben Dunne, Gay Byrne, Ulick McEvaddy, Prof. Ray Kinsella, Gerard Hogan,

This provides Ireland and Europe with an opportunity to take a fundamental look at the EU integration process.

Neither the Irish people nor the peoples of the other EU countries want an EU that is given the constitutional form of a State, as the Lisbon Treaty and the EU Constitiution proposed, even though this issue was not highlighted in the referendum. The peoples of Europe will not tolerate such a fundamental subversion of their national democracy and independence. Even if this federalised EU were to be brought off, it would not be sustainable.

Instead of the “period of reflection” which was supposed to follow the French and Dutch No votes in 2005, and which turned out to be an excuse for repackaging the rejected Constitution in the form of the Lisbon Treaty, Europe now needs a period of consultation – with its own peoples, with citizens everywhere – and not just a matter of Brussels talking to Brussels.

The best course now is to return to the aspirations of the Laeken Declaration, which called for democracy, transparency and closeness to the people. The EU Member States should now go back to the drawing-board, for their own sakes, for Ireland’s sake and for Europe’s.

Fundamental to any new Treaty is Lisbon’s population-based voting system which is not acceoptable to Ireland or to other smaller States, for it represents a power-grab by the Big States. Each State must retain its national Commissioner, a demand that does not require the opening of the Treaty.

Each State must retain the right to decide who its national Commissioner is, instead of that right being altered to a right to make “suggestions” only. Any future new Treaty should contain special Protocols to safeguard Ireland’s position as regards company taxation, public services, fundamental rights or mutual defence commitments. Laws in Brussels should only be made by people who are directly elected to make them, eitherin the European Parliament or National Parliaments. These are fundamental principles of democracy.

Anthony Coughlan

A funny Lisbon Video


Lisbon Treaty: Where is this all going?

1. Harmonisation of Corporate Tax;

2. Losing permanent Commissioner, Halving voting strength;

3. The “Blank Cheque” Self-Amending power;

4. Superiority of all EU law over Irish Constitution;

5. Lisbon origin in rejected EU Constitution.

* Where is this all going? Harmonisation of Corporate tax:

Article 2.79 of the Lisbon Treaty would insert a six-word amendment -”and to avoid distorton of competition” – into the Article of the existing European Treaties dealing with harmonising indirect taxes – Article 113.

This would enable the European Court of Justice, which adjudicates on competition matters, to decide that Ireland’s 12.5% rate of company tax, as against Germany’s 30%, is a distortion of competition which breaches the Treaty Articles dealing with the internal market (Art. 26 and Arts.101-9 TFEU) in relation to which qualified majority voting on the Council of Ministers applies.

The Irish Government’s veto under Article 113 would thus be irrelevant.

* Where is this all going? Loss of permanent Commissioner and reduction in voting strength:

– Lisbon removes any Irish voice from the EU Commission, the body which has the monopoly of proposing all EU laws, for five years out of every 15 (Art.17.5 TEU).

– Lisbon abolishes our right to decide who the Irish Commissioner is when it comes to our turn to be on the Commission, replacing it by a right to make “suggestions” only for the Commission President to decide (Art.17.7 TEU).

– Lisbon Treaty would double Germany’s say on the EU Council of Ministers; Ireland’s voting weight would be more than halved to 1% (Art.16 TEU).

* Where is this all going? The self-amending Treaty:

– This could be Ireland’s last referendum on Europe – the EU can acquire new competences without another treaty, like signing a blank cheque.

– Lisbon would permit the EU Prime Ministers to shift most of the remaining EU policy areas where unanimity still exists, to majority voting, without need for new EU Treaties or referendums (Art.48 TEU).

* Where is this all going? The dilution of Bunreacht na hEireann and the superiority of EU law:

EU law is already superior to Irish law. Lisbon would further weaken Irish control by adding more competences and powers to the EU.

– It hands over to the EU the power to make laws binding on us in 32 new policy areas, such as crime, justice and policing, public services, immigration, energy, transport, tourism, sport, culture, public health, the EU budget etc.

– It removes a national veto in 68 areas

– Lisbon will give the EU Court of Justice the power to decide our rights as EU citizens – Ireland’s Supreme Court would no longer have the final say (Art.6 TEU).

* Where is this all going? The Treaty’s origin in the EU Constitution:

– The Lisbon treaty is a repackaged version of the EU Constitution (96% the same). France and the Netherlands both rejected it, people across Europe have felt increasing unease about the EU project.

Events across 16 European countries dedicated to the referendum in Ireland

COPENHAGEN 30/5/2008
Press Release:

Events across 16 European countries dedicated to the referendum in Ireland

12 Danish organizations congratulates the Irish people in front of the Irish embassy, Østbanegade, 21 in Copenhagen today from 3 PM to 4 PM

Ireland is the only member state to grant its citizens a vote on the so-called Lisbon Treaty (the Reform Treaty). The referendum is to be held on 12th June and is a stimulus for organisations all across Europe to point out the democratic shortcomings of the ratification process of the treaty in every other member state.

Under the slogan “Congratulations Ireland”, 12 Danish organisations congratulate the Irish people on their say in front of the Irish embassy in Copenhagen. The 12 Danish organizations represent many different views on the EU – for instance there are supporters of EU as well as organizations against EU and there are organizations from all sides of the political spectrum.

“We congratulate you on having a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, as that proves that your democracy is stronger than ours” says the spokesman of Social Democratic Network Europe Nicolas E. Fischer.

The 12 organizations will through the Irish ambassador Joe Hayes hand over a letter to the Irish people. In the letter the organizations congratulate Ireland and states:

“The entire process of carrying through the EU Constitution and the Lisbon Treaty has been characterized by heavy manipulation. You too are experiencing measures taken by the EU system aiming at limiting the objectivity of the debate in Ireland. One instance is the instructions within the EU system to avoid sensitive questions that will be influenced by the Lisbon Treaty.

You also experience threats as to what will happen if your referendum should result in a no to the Lisbon Treaty. But those are empty threats. You are entitled to decide for yourselves, and the rest of the EU must respect your choice and make common cause with you, regardless of the outcome.”

The English version of the letter is attached.

For more information please contact:

Nicolas E. Fischer, Social Democratic Network Europe: +45 23 22 44 82, fischer(at)zetnet(dot)dk

Lave K. Broch, EU-critical Network of Social liberals: +45 28 92 21 27, lave(at)radikaleukritik(dot)dk

Peter Westermann, Challenge Europe: +45 21 94 16 09, peterwestermann(at)gmail(dot)com

Kenneth Haar, ATTAC: +45 23 60 06 31, kenneth(at)attac(dot)dk

Open letter to the Irish People from Denmark

Congratulations, Ireland!
– You are the only people in EU who will have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty!

Copenhagen the 30th of May 2008

Dear Irish people,
We congratulate you on having a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, as that proves that your democracy is stronger than ours.
In our country, Denmark, a large majority wanted a referendum, but a majority in our parliament was afraid of the voice of the people. Consequently they ratified the Lisbon Treaty without a referendum and without a real debate.
The entire process of carrying through the EU Constitution and the Lisbon Treaty has been characterized by heavy manipulation. You too are experiencing measures taken by the EU system aiming at limiting the objectivity of the debate in Ireland. One instance is the instructions within the EU system to avoid sensitive questions that will be influenced by the Lisbon Treaty.
You also experience threats as to what will happen if your referendum should result in a no to the Lisbon Treaty. But those are empty threats. You are entitled to decide for yourselves, and the rest of the EU must respect your choice and make common cause with you, regardless of the outcome.
Consequently we also feel confident that you are able to see through the essence of the Lisbon Treaty – and we congratulate you on your referendum. You will be voting for all the citizens in EU countries, who would have wanted a referendum on the re-named EU Constitution.
In this matter Ireland is the democratic light of Europe. Long live the Irish democracy!
Attac Denmark – http://www.attac.dk
Citizens’ Initiative Yes to Europe – No to the EU Constitution – http://www.euforfatningnej.dk
Trade Unions against the European Union – http://www.eufagligt.dk
People’s Movement against the EU – http://www.folkebevaegelsen.dk
June Movement – http://www.j.dk
Europe of Nations – Supporters of the European Community against more Union – Frank Dahlgaard phone number 0045-44 44 62 29
Necessary Forum – http://www.nodvendigtforum.dk
EU-critical Network of Social liberals – http://www.radikaleukritik.dk
Social democratic Network Europe – Nicolas E. Fisher phone number: 0045- 23 22 44 82
The think-tank New Agenda – http://www.nyagenda.dk
Challenge Europe – http://www.udfordringeuropa.dk
Youth against EU – http://www.nejnu.dk

*Lisbon Treaty: Some extra points for Green Party members…

Climate Change: Lisbon would commit the EU to “promoting measures at international level” to deal with problems arising from climate change. This is good, but note that it is “at international level”. It would give the EU no new internal powers. Internally EU environmental policies are subordinate to the competition rules of the “free market”(Art.191 TFEU)

EURATOM: Lisbon continues the 1957 Euratom Treaty, with its uncritical support for nuclear power, into the indefinite future unchanged.

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