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(01/20/09) -

Most Irish Now Favour Lisbon Treaty

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The Lisbon Treaty could pass in Ireland if a new referendum on its adoption takes place, according to a poll by Quantum Research. 55 per cent of respondents would support the proposed common body of law for members of the European Union (EU) in a new vote, while 37 per cent would oppose it.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The Lisbon Treaty could pass in Ireland if a new referendum on its adoption takes place, according to a poll by Quantum Research. 55 per cent of respondents would support the proposed common body of law for members of the European Union (EU) in a new vote, while 37 per cent would oppose it.

EU heads of state officially signed the European Constitution on Oct. 29, 2004. The project for a continental body of law was practically abandoned in 2005, after voters in France and the Netherlands rejected the proposed document in two plebiscites.

In October 2007, leaders of the 27 EU member nations reached an agreement on the Lisbon Treaty and Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Lisbon Treaty provisions call for the creation of new posts, such as a foreign policy chief, and a High Representative who will answer to EU governments and serve as vice-president of the European Commission. The Charter would become legally binding in all EU member states except Britain, which negotiated an exemption.

The EU leaders would also choose a president of the European Council for a two and a half year renewable term. This will effectively eliminate the current six-month rotating presidency among member nations. The Lisbon Treaty also provides for the creation of a mutual defence clause, in case one of the member states is attacked.

Ireland, due to its internal regulations, was the only country that had to hold a nationwide vote on the Lisbon Treaty, while other governments were able to decide whether they wanted to do the same.

In June 2008, 53.4 per cent of Irish voters rejected the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty. Many analysts interpreted the result as the demise of the accord. The Irish government is pondering whether to hold another referendum this year, presenting new benefits for Ireland in the event the Lisbon Treaty is ratified.

On Jan. 15, Irish prime minister Brian Cowen said that troubles in the global economy may have an impact on what the Irish people think of the EU, stating, "Ironically, the fact that we have an economic downturn has [highlighted] the role that European Central Bank and the European institutions have played in recent times. The have re-emphasized for Irish people that it is in the European Union that we find that zone of stability that is a prerequisite for our return to future prosperity."

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose the Lisbon Treaty?

Support

55%

Oppose

37%

Not sure

8%

Source: Quantum Research
Methodology: Interviews with 500 Irish adults, conducted in January 2009. No margin of error was provided.