Thursday

1st Dec 2022

Irish PM takes hard line on EU treaty rebels

Irish prime minister Brian Cowen has warned that he will not tolerate opponents to the EU treaty from within his own party Fianna Fail, raising the prospect of expulsion for any rebels.

"We are absolutely committed to the ratification of this treaty. It is fundamental to how we think, what our philosophy is," said Mr Cowen on Wednesday (14 May), according to the Irish Independent.

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

"And if there were to be anyone - and I don't know of anybody, but take it hypothetically - who had a conscientious problem, they would have to consider that outside the context of my parliamentary party."

His words come amid a general heating up of the debate as the referendum campaign was officially launched earlier on this week.

On the same day, the "no" organisation Cóir said it had put up a over 5,000 posters around the country containing messages such as "People died for your freedom, don't throw it away. Vote no" and "The new EU won't see you, won't hear you, won't speak for you."

Cóir's website says the organisation is working to "protect Irish sovereignty and the constitutional rights of every Irish person."

Meanwhile, speaking to an American Chamber of Commerce audience in Brussels on Tuesday, Irish finance minister Brian Lenihan sought to lay to rest arguments from treaty opponents that the new EU charter would undermine Ireland's corporate tax regime, which the country jealously defends.

"Ireland's veto over any EU proposals in the taxation area remains. I do not think it is possible to be more unequivocal than this," said Mr Lenihan.

He also said he thought that a "very significant number of member states" opposed the idea of creating a common corporate tax base, something currently being looked into by EU tax commissioner Laszlo Kovacs.

Ireland's EU treaty referendum will take place on 12 June, it is the only country of the 27 member states to hold a public poll resulting in huge public interest and scrutiny across Europe ahead of the vote.

EU Commission proposes suspending billions to Hungary

Prime minister Viktor Orbán's government has to implement 27 measures "fully and correctly" before any payment from the €5.8bn recovery fund can be made, or the suspended €7.5bn of cohesion funds can be unblocked.

Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs

Terezija Gras from Croatia, Dutchman Hans Leijtens, and Frontex's current interim executive director Aija Kalnaja, are all competing for a job left vacant by the resignation of Fabrice Leggeri.

Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?

Over the last 10 years, Portugal has given 1,470 golden visas to people originating from countries whose tax-transparency practices the EU finds problematic. But unlike common practice in other EU states with similar programmes, Portugal has not implemented "due diligence".

Nato renews membership vow to Ukraine

Ukraine foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba on Tuesday asked for air defence systems and generators, as Russia has been pounding Ukraine's vital energy infrastructure.

Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs

Terezija Gras from Croatia, Dutchman Hans Leijtens, and Frontex's current interim executive director Aija Kalnaja, are all competing for a job left vacant by the resignation of Fabrice Leggeri.

Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?

Over the last 10 years, Portugal has given 1,470 golden visas to people originating from countries whose tax-transparency practices the EU finds problematic. But unlike common practice in other EU states with similar programmes, Portugal has not implemented "due diligence".

News in Brief

  1. 'Pro-Kremlin group' in EU Parliament cyberattack
  2. Ukraine will decide on any peace talks, Borrell says
  3. Germany blocks sale of chip factory to Chinese subsidiary
  4. Strikes and protests over cost-of-living grip Greece, Belgium
  5. Liberal MEPs want Musk quizzed in parliament
  6. Bulgarian policeman shot dead at Turkish border
  7. 89 people allowed to disembark in Italy, aid group says
  8. UN chief tells world: Cooperate on climate or perish

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. EU Commission proposes suspending billions to Hungary
  2. EU: Russian assets to be returned in case of peace treaty
  3. Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs
  4. Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?
  5. Why the EU asbestos directive revision ... needs revising
  6. Nato renews membership vow to Ukraine
  7. Catalan spyware victims demand justice
  8. Is the overwhelming critique of Qatar hypocritical?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us