Thursday, December 11, 2008
European Union leaders are set to sign a deal to effectively bribe Irish voters to back the Lisbon Treaty.
The country’s Government is likely to allow a second vote on the controversial document next year.
And to get the treaty back on the table, it appears Brussels has caved in on some of the demands that leaders believe led to its original rejection.
Main concerns included the retention of a permanent EU commissioner and Ireland’s military neutrality.
There are also reportedly guarantees on taxation policy, workers’ rights and on abortion.
The new draft document will be considered by EU leaders in Brussels today.
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
Ireland’s rejection of the treaty – a successor to the defunct EU constitution and aimed at easing decision-making in Brussels – has slowed integration efforts.
The Irish government, which campaigned in favour of the treaty, argues EU membership contributed to the country’s quick transformation into one of Europe’s richest countries.
But voters threw it out in a June referendum seen as a major blow for the whole union.
A new poll would be a major step forward for backers of the treaty.
Speaking ahead of today’s Brussels summit, Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin said: ‘These are draft conclusions and they have to be agreed by all of the member states over the next two days.
This article was posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 1:21 pm