Tuesday

28th Feb 2017

US congressmen rebuff Irish anti-Lisbon links

  • The US Congress - members gave short shrift to the Cohn-Bendit theory (Photo: wikipedia)

US congress members have poured cold water on a European Parliament query about potential foreign funding for the anti-Lisbon treaty campaign in Ireland, in line with expectations.

"Our congressional colleagues drew our attention to a statement from US deputy secretary of state John Negroponte at Trinity College Dublin on 17 November, completely refuting the suggestion of any US dimension whatsoever," British conservative MEP Jonathan Evans told EUobserver on Wednesday (9 December), after returning from a European Parliament delegation to the US.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"On the contrary, both Democrats and Republicans re-affirmed their keenness to work with a strong and coherent EU, comments recently accentuated by president-elect Obama," he added.

German socialist MEP Helmut Kuhne asked US lawmakers at the meeting in Miami if the US government had in any way supported Irish businessman Declan Ganley, whose Libertas organisation was among groups which campaigned for a No vote in the Irish referendum in June.

The query was made following informal instructions from the office of European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering, after German green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit in September suggested the Pentagon or the CIA may have helped Mr Ganley in order to weaken the EU.

Mr Cohn-Bendit continued in a similar vein last week at a meeting with Czech President Vaclav Klaus, saying Mr Klaus should not have met with Mr Ganley during a recent state visit to Dublin because of the "problematic" financing of the businessman's political activity.

When asked in Dublin last month if the US government had helped Libertas, Mr Negroponte said: "absolutely not. I say that on very good authority, not only being deputy secretary of state but also being a former director of national intelligence."

Mr Ganley's company, Rivada Networks, makes communications equipment for the US government. But he has denied any US link to Libertas and promised to take Irish politicians to court for "grossly defamatory" statements on the subject.

The Irish government is widely expected to run a second referendum on Lisbon in October 2009, after negotiating a package of sweeteners from EU states at this week's summit.

The package is set to include keeping an Irish commissioner and securing declarations to protect Irish neutrality, taxation and anti-abortion laws, which would later be given legal force by being lodged at the UN or tacked on to Croatia's EU accession treaty.

Mr Ganley is likely to remain a force in European politics for some time to come. Libertas opened an office in Brussels last month as part of his plans to run in European Parliament elections in June.

Czech delay

Meanwhile, the Czech parliament on Wednesday put off until 3 February a vote on Lisbon ratification as the ruling conservative ODS party tries to secure socialist support for hosting a US anti-missile shield first.

The move means the Czech EU presidency will start work in January as the only EU state not to have voted on the treaty.

President Klaus, along with Polish President Lech Kaczynski, have also promised not to sign off on Lisbon unless Ireland overturns its No vote.

Juncker envisages EU of core groups

Commission head Juncker say EU states which want deeper integration should press ahead in core groups, in reaction to the UK’s departure.

French police raid Le Pen's party office

Officers raid the National Front headquarters near Paris over allegations that leader Marine Le Pen used fake EU parliament contracts to pay her personal staff.

Le Pen used 'fake' EU parliament jobs

A leaked EU anti-fraud office report says French far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, had her bodyguard and personal assistant paid by the EU parliament for jobs they did not do.

EU commission drops anti-corruption report

Transparency campaigners are livid after the EU commission scuppered plans to publish an EU anti-corruption report amid unfolding corruption scandals in Romania and France.

News in Brief

  1. Le Pen party in new EU fraud allegations
  2. May to end rights of EU nationals after Article 50 triggered
  3. Nato warns against Armenia-Azerbaijan 'escalation'
  4. EU: No military solution to Nagorno-Karabakh war
  5. EU adopts visa-free brake mechanism
  6. Trump and Brexit drew on same resources
  7. Romanian protestors form EU flag at anti-government rally
  8. Over 3,500 attacks on refugees in Germany: report

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFA Deadly Journey for Children: The Migration Route From North Africa to Europe
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsFreedom of Association and Expression Under Threat in Kazakhstan
  3. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Brussels on March 6th
  4. EURORDISJoin Rare Disease Day and Help Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  6. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  7. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  8. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  9. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  10. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  11. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  12. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen