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REPLYING to my letter headlined ‘European integration: when can we vote on it?’ (May 12), Gay Mitchell MEP answered a question that was not asked.
He discussed improvements in European governance when I simply asked about European integration, expansion and the lack of national debate in Ireland before international treaties were finalised.
In international agreements it is not always the immediate contents of the treaty but what such treaties/agreements allow to occur afterwards that need to be considered.
Considering this is a treaty that affects our sovereign status by giving control to Brussels — or, at the very least, part control — of a number of areas, this is a different agreement than most.
A short burst of soundbites will occur on this treaty, but not a word on what direction we wish our country to take.
A true leader would have started a national debate long before international agreements needed to be affirmed.
Unfortunately, we are without such leadership and so find ourselves debating a complex treaty that will affect our own and future generations.
If this treaty were solely concerned with the economic preparation of the EU for ever-increasing globalisation, fewer people would have objections. But we know the treaty is much more than that — it is the gradual integration of decision-making towards a united Europe.
Mr Mitchell never answered the initial question. I wonder if he is avoiding what former French president Giscard d’Estaing was referring to when he said “public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals we dare not present to them directly…” — ie, a united Europe.
I asked how far this integration is to go and when, as a nation, were we going to be consulted about Ireland being integrated into a European state? It had nothing to do with how, as Mr Mitchell puts it, European governance would be improved by the Lisbon Treaty.
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