Democrat June-July 2009 (Number 114)
"Guarantees" for Lisbon Treaty referendum in Ireland
Draft text of Lisbon assurances 16 June 2009
(This is the full text of the assurances which the Government hopes other EU heads of government will endorse later this week in preparation for a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in the Autumn of 2009)
DECISION OF THE HEADS OF STATE OR GOVERNMENT OF THE 27 MEMBER STATES OF THE EU, MEETING WITHIN THE EUROPEAN C0UNCIL, ON THE CONCERNS OF THE IRISH PEOPLE ON THE TREATY OF LISBON
The Heads of State or Government of the 27 Member States of the European Union, whose Governments are signatories of the Treaty of Lisbon,
Taking note of the outcome of the Irish referendum of 12 June 2008 on the Treaty of Lisbon and of the concerns of the Irish people identified by the Taoiseach,
Desiring to address these concerns in conformity with that Treaty,
Having regard to the Conclusions of the European Council of 11-12 December 2008,
Have agreed on the following Decision:
Right to Life, Family and Education
Nothing in the Treaty of Lisbon attributing legal status to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, or in the provisions of that Treaty in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice affects in any way the scope and applicability of the protection of the right to life in Article 40.3.1. 40.3.2 and 40.3.3, the protection of the family in Article 41 and the protection of the rights in respect of education in Articles 42 and 44.2.4 and 44.2.5 provided by the Constitution of Ireland.
Nothing in the Treaty of Lisbon makes any change of any kind for any Member State, to the extent or operation of the competence of the European Union in relation to taxation.
Security and Defence
The Union’s action on the international scene is guided by the principles of democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.
The Union’s common security and defence policy is an integral part of the common foreign and security policy and provides the Union with an operational capacity to undertake missions outside the Union for peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. It does not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of Ireland.
The Lisbon Treaty does not affect or prejudice Ireland's traditional policy of military neutrality.
It will be for Ireland, acting in a spirit of solidarity and without prejudice to its traditional policy of military neutrality to determine the nature of aid or assistance to be provided to a Member State which is the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of armed aggression on its territory.
Any decision to move to a common defence will require a unanimous decision of the European Council. It would be a matter for the Member States, including Ireland, to decide, in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon and with their respective constitutional requirements, whether or not to adopt a common defence.
Nothing in this Section affects or prejudices the position or policy of any other Member State on security and defence.
It is also a matter for each Member State to decide, in accordance with the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty and any domestic legal requirements, whether to participate in permanent structured cooperation or the European Defence Agency.
The Treaty of Lisbon does not provide for the creation of a European army or for conscription to any military formation.
It does not affect the right of Ireland or any other Member State to determine the nature and volume of its defence and security expenditure and the nature of its defence capabilities.
It will be a matter for Ireland or any other Member State, to decide, in accordance with any domestic legal requirement, whether or not to participate in any military operation.
Solemn Declaration on Worker's Rights and Social Policy
The European Council confirms the high importance which the Union attaches to:
Social progress and the protection of workers' rights;
Public services, as an indispensible instrument of social and regional cohesion;
The responsibility of Member States for the deliver of education and health services;
The essential role and wide discretion of national, regional and local authorities in providing, commissioning and organising services of general economic interest.
In doing so, it underlines the importance of respecting the overall framework and provisions of the EU Treaties.
It recalls that the Treaties as modified by the Treaty of Lisbon:
Aim at establishing an internal market and working for the sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, and a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment;
Will give expression to the Union's values and, through Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union, recognise the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;
Aim to combat social exclusion and discrimination, and to promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of the child;
Oblige the Union, when defining and implementing its policies and activities, to take into account requirements linked to the promotion of a high level of employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and protection of human health;
Include, as a shared value of the Union, the essential role and the wide discretion of national, regional and local authorities in providing, commissioning and organising services of general economic interest as closely as possible to the needs of the users;
Do not affect in any way the competence of Member States to provide, commission and organise non-economic service of general interest;
Provide that the Council, when acting in the area of common commercial policy, must act unanimously when negotiating and concluding international agreements in the field of trade in social, education and health services, where those agreements risk seriously disturbing the national organisation of such services and prejudicing the responsibility of Member States to deliver them; and Provide that the Union recognises and promotes the role of the social partners at the level of the European Union, and facilitates dialogue between them, taking account of the diversity of national systems and respecting the autonomy of social partners.
It reiterates that the participation of contingents of the Irish Defence Forces in overseas operations, including those carried out under the European common security and defence policy requires (a) the authorisation of the operation by the Security Council of the General Assembly of the United Nations, (b) the agreement of the Irish Government, and (c) the approval of Dáil Éireann, in accordance with Irish law.
Ireland notes that nothing obliges it to participate in permanent structured cooperation as provided for in the Treaty on European Union. Any decision enabling Ireland to participate will require the approval of Dáil Éireann in accordance with Irish law.
Ireland notes also that nothing obliges it to participate in the European Defence Agency, or in specific projects or programmes initiated under its auspices. Any decision to participate in such projects or programmes will be subject to national decision-making and the approval of Dáil Éireann in accordance with Irish law. Ireland declares that it will participate only in those projects and programmes that contribute to enhancing the capabilities required for participation in UN-mandated missions for peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.
The situation set out in this Declaration would be unaffected by the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. In the event of Ireland's ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon, this Declaration will be associated with Ireland's instrument of ratification.
Other pieces on the Lisbon II referendum in Ireland
Where now? Democracy or EU Dictatorship - Editorial
Statement by People's Movement of Ireland on "Guarantees"
Maastricht trick for Lisbon II?
Invalidity of "Guarantees" for Lisbon II