Thursday

13th Aug 2020

Ireland shoots down idea of swift Lisbon revote

The Irish government has insisted that no second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is in the works after Europe minister Dick Roche on the weekend told press that another vote on the text would be "appropriate."

"Nothing whatsoever has been decided vis-a-vis the next step, because we're only in the process of analysis at this stage," the Irish Times quotes an unnamed government spokesperson as saying.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"People who are saying 'another referendum or legislation,' they are all jumping ahead to an outcome, and the government isn't anywhere near that."

Meanwhile, the UK's Financial Times reports that Irish government officials have privately conceded that any second referendum, should one take place, would not occur before next year's European Parliamentary elections, but rather in the second half of 2009.

The government clarification comes after a storm of criticism attacking Mr Roche's comments from campaigners for both the Yes and No sides in the failed June referendum as well as all main opposition parties.

Irish Europe minister Dick Roche had told the Irish Independent newspaper earlier this week: "A referendum is the appropriate response to the position we are in", while stressing that it was his "personal view at this stage."

"The government has made it clear that no option has been ruled in or out. We cannot exclude that at some stage and in the right circumstances it may be necessary to consult the people once again."

In response, the Labour Party's deputy leader, Joan Burton, described the minister's comments as "unwise and unhelpful," adding: "There can be no question of simply putting the same proposition to the people once again."

"There is no basis for believing that a second referendum would produce a different outcome to the one we got on 12 June," she said, saying the government should not be "threatening to ram another referendum down people's throats".

Leading opposition party Fine Gael's European affairs spokesperson, Lucinda Creighton, said Mr Roche's remarks showed the government had "learnt nothing from its disastrous referendum campaign."

Meanwhile, her colleague, MEP Gay Mitchell said of the minister: "I think he is jumping the gun. I don't think it's helpful ... I don't think it's helpful to be coming out in the month of August with proposals or solutions one way or the other."

According to the Irish Independent newspaper, both Ms Burton and Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald believe the government was using Mr Roche's comments as a trial balloon in order to see what the popular response to a second referendum would be.

Ms McDonald said the move displayed "another example of a government without a plan."

EU to keep corporate sponsorship of presidencies

The chief administrators of the Council, representing member states, have issued draft guidelines on corporate sponsorships of EU presidencies. The guidelines do not ban sponsorships - despite the risks they pose to the EU's reputation as a whole.

Commission chief under fire for Croatia campaign video

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen recorded a video in support of Croatia's ruling party, which the EU executive said was in her "personal capacity" - and admits it was a "mistake" that this was not made clear.

Parliament vaping booths 'too confidential' to discuss

The European Parliament is refusing to disclose documents on an internal debate on whether to set up e-cigarette smoking booths at its premises in Strasbourg and Brussels, posing questions on how it handles transparency on relatively minor issues.

EU parliament chairs explain missing lobbyist meetings

MEPs in January 2019 agreed to a rule change in a bid for greater transparency. The rules included requiring committee chairs to publish their meetings with registered lobbyists. EUobserver spoke to six chairs, who haven't done so yet.

News in Brief

  1. Amazon people urge EU banks to stop funding pollution
  2. Russia vaccine could be "dangerous", Germany says
  3. EU to finance new Covid-19 research projects
  4. Croatia receives EU earthquake relief funds
  5. Facemasks required throughout Brussels
  6. EU opposes Mexico's transparent junk food labels
  7. Greece accuses Turkey of 'escalation' in maritime dispute
  8. Slovakia expels three Russians linked to Berlin murder

Opinion

Why so few women in EU missions?

Angela Merkel is only the seventh woman to chair the Council of the European Union's meetings. And in 2020 there is no woman leading any of the current 11 European civilian missions (let alone the six military operations).

Commission chief under fire for Croatia campaign video

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen recorded a video in support of Croatia's ruling party, which the EU executive said was in her "personal capacity" - and admits it was a "mistake" that this was not made clear.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Belarus violence goes on, as EU ministers scramble
  2. French navy to deter Turkey's oil and gas grab
  3. EU ministers urged to talk Belarus, Turkey sanctions
  4. Drums of war again, in Europe
  5. EU looks on as Belarus protests turn lethal
  6. EU virus-alert agency says new restrictions needed
  7. Minsk violence prompts talk of EU sanctions
  8. Schrems privacy ruling risks EU's ties to digital world

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us