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(05/25/09) -

Lisbon Treaty Could Pass in New Irish Vote

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most people in Ireland would consider approving the Lisbon Treaty if a new referendum takes place, according to a poll by TNS mrbi published in The Irish Times. 52 per cent of respondents would ratify the common European Union (EU) treaty in a new vote, up nine points since November.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most people in Ireland would consider approving the Lisbon Treaty if a new referendum takes place, according to a poll by TNS mrbi published in The Irish Times. 52 per cent of respondents would ratify the common European Union (EU) treaty in a new vote, up nine points since November.

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 has decided to hold another referendum this year, likely in October, presenting new benefits for Ireland in the event the Lisbon Treaty is ratified.

On May 5, Irish minister for European affairs Dick Roche said that a series of proposed treaty guarantees especially designed for Ireland must be signed off soon by the European Parliament, adding, "We must get this passed before summer recess to allow an as early as possible referendum."

Polling Data

How would you vote if a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty were to take place?

 

May 2009

Nov. 2008

Yes

52%

43%

No

29%

39%

No opinion

19%

18%

Source: TNS mrbi / The Irish Times
Methodology: Interviews with 2,000 Irish voters, conducted from May 11 to May 13, 2009. No margin of error was provided.