Cowen to make case for treaty

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen will deliver a keynote address on the Lisbon Treaty in Dublin Castle today.

Mr Cowen will give the address at the National Forum on Europe, outlining the case for a yes vote.

He will engage in debate with members, including politicians on both the yes and no sides. The debate will be streamed live on

Meanwhile, Green Party senator Deirdre De Burca has said she “dreads” the thought of future European referendums and having to persuade “poorly informed, apathetic voters” to support important changes to the EU.

She made the remarks in a letter to a newspaper in which she made the case for a national strategy to tackle the “lack of public familiarity” with the EU.

“Is it too much to hope that such a strategy might be implemented in this country in the coming years?” she asked. “I am confident that there are other politicians who, like me, dread the thought of having to face future EU treaty referendums and to persuade poorly informed, apathetic voters to support important changes to the EU. Let’s prioritise the issue, and find ways to ensure that our citizens become increasingly informed on, and involved with, EU matters.”

In a subsequent press release, she called for a permanent “EU information service” in Ireland as a way of addressing the problem, but the release notably failed to mention her lack of enthusiasm for future referendums.

Meanwhile, anti-Lisbon group Libertas questioned the Government’s knowledge of both the treaty and how Europe works following comments by Tánaiste Mary Coughlan.

Twice in four days, Ms Coughlan asserted that larger EU member states each have two European commissioners, when in fact they only have one. Speaking at a debate in AIB, Libertas chairman Declan Ganley said Ms Coughlan’s comments were “very disturbing”.

Another anti-Lisbon group, Coir, announced that it had booked 144 adverts on the Luas trams to boost their campaign. The adverts will run for the next two weeks.


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