Monday

21st Jun 2021

Irish poll shows majority support for Lisbon Treaty

A new poll suggests that a majority of Irish voters may back the Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum set to be held this year.

The Sunday Independent / Quantum Research survey carried out last Friday showed that 55 percent of the 500 people asked would support the treaty while 37 percent said they would oppose it and 15 percent said they were undecided.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

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

... or subscribe as a group

These latest figures showed a strong rise in support (plus 16%) for the charter when compared to a survey carried out by the same newspaper in December. Those saying they would vote against the treaty decreased by seven percent.

The poll comes after EU leaders in December agreed to give Ireland guarantees that the treaty would not affect issues such as tax and neutrality.

Ireland's deteriorating economy is likely to be an important factor behind the change of heart, with many still shocked and angered by last week's announcement that 1,900 jobs at the Dell plant in Limerick are to be transferred to Poland.

The poll also shows a steep decline in support for the government and Prime Minister Brian Cowen and a corresponding rise in support for opposition parties and in particular Labour leader Eamon Gilmore.

The Irish statistics office said that the estimated unemployment rate has now reached 8.3 percent, up 0.5 percent from last November.

This figure is likely to worsen over the coming months with one of the state's largest employers, Waterford Wedgewood, calling in the receivers last week.

Meanwhile, leader of the anti-Lisbon Libertas party Declan Ganley suffered a setback over the weekend in Prague where talks broke down surrounding proposals to run candidates under the Libertas banner.

Instead Petr Mach, who had been in discussions with Mr Ganley, is to found the Free Citizens' Party in the Czech capital today (12 January), also campaigning on an anti-Lisbon ticket.

Mr Mach, an economist and close associate of eurosceptic Czech President Vaclav Klaus, said he wanted to concentrate on national rather than EU politics.

"I tried to explain to him that setting up parties is a different thing than setting up businesses. If he has a business he can set up subsidiaries and he would then be the main shareholder of it. It is different with political parties," Mr Mach told the Irish Times.

But Mr Ganley, who ran a successful campaign against the EU treaty in the run-up to the June Irish referendum, says he will continue with his plan to set up a Libertas branch in the Czech Republic. "Petr Mach is a Eurosceptic and I am not," he said.

Catalan MEPs lose immunity, slam 'political persecution'

Catalan separatist MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí lost their parliamentary immunity - a result they have hailed as a "political victory" for bringing the conflict between Catalonia and Spain closer to the heart of Europe.

12-month Future EU Conference is 'impossible', expert warns

The debate about the much-delayed Conference on the Future of Europe so far has been locked in endless institutional infighting over who should lead the event - lowering the expectations about what can be achieved in the coming months.

Future of Europe: Nearly half of citizens want reforms

European Parliament president David Sassoli called for the Conference on the Future of Europe "to start as soon as possible". Meanwhile, nearly half of EU citizens would like to see reforms to the bloc.

EU parliament snubs anti-corruption researchers

Transparency International carried out three separate studies on integrity, of the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council (representing member states). The European Parliament refused to cooperate.

Cyprus: a heavy caseload for new EU prosecutors office

The new European Public Prosecutor's office will become operational in March. It is tasked to carry out criminal fraud investigations of the EU budget. But of the 140 required European delegated prosecutors, only nine have so far set up office.

MEPs chide Portugal and Council in EU prosecutor dispute

The Belgian and Bulgarian prosecutors who were appointed had also not been the experts' first choice. Belgian prosecutor Jean-Michel Verelst has challenged the council's decision at the European Court of Justice.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Too soon to lift EU sanctions on Burundi, NGOs warn
  2. EU to wage economic war on Belarus dictator
  3. EU commission takes stand against Danish asylum law
  4. Air pollution in many EU cities 'stubbornly high'
  5. EU leaders discuss Turkey, Russia, migration This WEEK
  6. Pandemic exposed corruption in some EU health systems
  7. The European Court of Justice vs German Constitutional Court
  8. AstraZeneca must deliver 50m doses by September or face fines

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us