They have no legal weight and could easily be overturned by a similar future agreement..
It is argued, however, that they may be formally inserted into a future treaty as a protocol, but this will not change their worthlessness since their meaning is determined by the Lisbon Treaty, not vice-versa as is clear from the wording of the decision which states that the concerns will be addressed “in conformity” with the treaty.
In any case, it is impossible legally to bind future administrations to a promise. What is absolutely certain is that we will be voting on exactly the same proposition that we voted on last time.
The EU presidency itself confirmed this in its statement: “Thus, the text of the guarantees explicitly states that the Lisbon Treaty is not changed thereby.”
Yet after the December summit last year Foreign Minister Micheál Martin stated: “We will not be asking people to vote on the same proposition.” Dick Roche said the same thing: “Our partners understand, I believe, that we cannot and will not put the same package to our people later this year.”
So they are going to do exactly what they said they would not do and foist upon us the same treaty which was rejected decisively not only by us but, in all its essentials, also by French and Dutch voters, a treaty which the rest of Europe is being denied a say on.
And they are going to hoodwink us into thinking we are voting on something different.