Saturday

18th Jan 2020

Support for Lisbon Treaty drops in Ireland

  • The drop in support for the treaty is reminiscent of the trend ahead of the first referendum (Photo: EUobserver)

With just a month to go until Ireland's second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, a poll has shown that 46 percent support a yes vote, down eight points since May.

Published by the Irish Times, the TNS mrbi poll shows a rise of one point in those saying they plan to vote No to 29 percent with the Don't Knows registering at 25 percent, up seven points in comparison to a pre-summer survey.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

The newspaper notes that most of the people who have left the Yes side have entered the Don't Know category rather than crossed to the No camp.

The drop in support for the treaty is reminiscent of the trend in the weeks ahead of the first referendum which resulted in a No in June last year. It is set to spur the government to place more focus on a strong and coherent campaign.

However, prime minister Brian Cowen's Fianna Fail party, grappling with the devastating effects of the economic crisis, has reached an historic low in polls, garnering just 17 percent support in another poll by the Irish Times.

The survey indicates that 85 percent are dissatisfied with the government's performance while 11 percent approve it.

Dan Boyle, chairman of the Green Party, the junior governing party, said that it will be a "challenge" for the government to survive until January, with general elections only due in 2012.

For his part, Mr Cowen has met with the main opposition parties to work out how to make the most effective Yes campaign ahead of the 2 October poll.

He has also tried to persuade to voters to rise above their feelings for the government and concentrate on the issue at hand in the referendum.

"I don't believe this is about the future of this government or the future of personalities, it's about the future of the country. This is not politics as usual. It goes beyond any issues of party, organisation or locality. It is about our country's future," said the prime minister on Wednesday (2 September).

Economic crisis

However, Irish citizens have been shocked by the gravity of the economic crisis and the austerity measures proposed by the government to tackle it. In addition, much of the discussion in recent days has concerned the government's controversial plans to set up a 'bad bank', or National Asset Management Agency, to swallow toxic assets but the plan is viewed with scepticism by the public.

The Irish vote is hugely anticipated in Brussels, where there is widespread hope that the Lisbon Treaty will be passed and a backlog of decisions and discussions can then take place in light of the result.

Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland must also complete ratification of the Treaty, which introduces a powerful EU foreign policy chief, a president of the European Council and gives greater powers to the European Parliament.

Catalan MEPs Puigdemont and Comin look for a party

The former head of the Catalan regional government, Carles Puigdemont, and one member of his government, Toni Comín, have requested to join the Greens/EFA group - but they do not close the door to other political groups.

Exclusive

Big Oil sponsors Croatia's EU presidency

Croatia's national oil company has become the EU council presidency's "official gasoline supplier" - in a move that appears to clash with aspirations of the European Green Deal. Critics say such sponsorships pose a reputational risk with the wider public.

Parliament calls for citizens' 'agoras' to shape future EU

Details have been revealed by the European Parliament of its proposals on how to conduct the two-year post-Brexit reform exercise of the EU. But a final format will have to be determined in talks with member states and the commission.

Two Catalan MEPs take their seats - with a third in jail

Catalan separatist leaders Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín arrived at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to take their seats as MEPs on Monday, pledging "the Catalan crisis is not an internal matter, it is a European one".

Sassoli stuck in middle as Catalan MEPs enter building

The parliament's legal services are analysing whether three Catalan leaders elected in the European elections in May - former president Carles Puigdemont, former vice-president Oriol Junqueras and former minister Toni Comín - can now be accredited as MEPs.

News in Brief

  1. 'No objection in principle' on Huawei cooperation, EU says
  2. French aircraft carrier goes to Middle East amid tensions
  3. EU suggests temporary ban on facial recognition
  4. EU industry cries foul on Chinese restrictions
  5. 'Devil in detail', EU warns on US-China trade deal
  6. Trump threatened EU-tariffs over Iran, Germany confirms
  7. EU trade commissioner warns UK of 'brinkmanship'
  8. Germany strikes coal phase-out deal

This is the (finally) approved European Commission

MEPs gave the green light to the entire new European Commission during the plenary session in Strasbourg - but with the abstention of the Greens and a rejection by the leftist group GUE/NGL.

Magazine

Welcome to the EU engine room

Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament (EP's) 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and which keep an eye on other European institutions.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us