Friday

26th Apr 2019

Dublin launches EU treaty 'yes' campaign

The Irish government has launched its campaign in favour of the EU treaty with the new prime minister, Brian Cowen, calling for a "yes" vote in next month's referendum.

"It would be a very backward step to resign from the strategic political positioning we have established in 35 years of (EU) membership," Mr Cowen said on Monday (12 May). "It would have very serious implications."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Dublin - under a lot of pressure to secure a 'yes' (Photo: Irish Presidency)

The government push comes as the most recent poll, by the Sunday Business Post, put the "yes" camp in front with 38 percent, the "no" side on 28 percent and "don't knows" at 34 percent.

This represents a better showing for the "yes" side than two weeks ago, when a poll by the same newspaper put the yes and "no" vote at 35 and 31 percent, respectively. The undecided remained static.

"To tackle modern forces such as globalisation, climate change and cross-border crime, countries cannot stand alone; and for us this means that we need an EU which has the structures, policies and procedures capable of having an impact," said Mr Cowen.

The prime minister, who only came into office earlier this month, hit out at the "no" side for what he said was its attempts to "distort" the contents of the treaty.

The referendum, now formally confirmed for 12 June, is set to be the first major challenge of his leadership.

The Referendum Commission, tasked with informing citizens about the EU treaty, has a budget of €5 million, while the slogan of Fianna Fail, the main governing party, is "Good for Ireland, Good for Europe."

Ireland is the only EU member state to have a referendum on the new treaty and the government is coming under enormous pressure to secure a "yes" vote, with all 27 countries needed to ratify the document for it to come into force.

Analysts suggest that much will depend on voter turnout among the 3-million-strong electorate. A low turn-out could result in a "no" vote, they say, while a higher turnout is set to work more in favour of the "yes" camp.

Greens commit to air quality 'super commissioner'

Following an investigation into the Dieselgate scandal, the European Parliament recommended a single commissioner should be responsible for both air quality and setting industrial standards. But only the Greens want to commit to carry out that advice.

EU and Japan in delicate trade talks

The Japanese PM comes to Brussels to discuss the first results of the new EU-Japan free trade deal, plus WTO reform - a sensitive topic before he moves onto Washington to face Donald Trump.

Opinion

Closer EU-Caribbean ties mean greater prosperity for all

The foreign affairs minister of Haiti calls for the replacement EU-Africa, Caribbean, Pacific 'Cotonou' agreement of 2000 to be updated to take account climate change, infrastructure and tourism to help the country transition away from aid-dependence.

News in Brief

  1. Talks to merge Germany's two largest banks collapse
  2. EU and Japan back Iran nuclear deal despite US
  3. China addresses EU concerns on belt and road plan
  4. EU: Russian citizenship plan 'attacks' Ukraine sovereignty
  5. Deutsche Bank hands over Trump loan documents
  6. UN: Europe is badly prepared for new refugee crisis
  7. Macron to set out 'Yellow vest' counter measures
  8. Italy requests EU action plan for new Libya migrant wave

Magazine

All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Migration and climate are EU's top priorities, Macron says
  2. Greens commit to air quality 'super commissioner'
  3. Far-right Facebook networks removed before Spain election
  4. EU and Japan in delicate trade talks
  5. Closer EU-Caribbean ties mean greater prosperity for all
  6. Details of EU Brexit talks with Blair and Soros kept secret
  7. Weber vows to block Nord Stream 2 amid 'sue' threat
  8. 'Next Juncker' must fix EU's corporate power problem

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us