Europe – The Treaty of Lisbon – At a Glance


Some people are going around saying that the Treaty of Lisbon is going to take away our freedoms, and our representation, and our ability to influence events in Europe and our own country. For example, one commentator went so far as to say, “Democracy died with Lisbon Treaty.”

These people have either not read the treaty, or they have some party political reason of their own for attacking it.

In fact, one of the main aims of the treaty is actually to strengthen democracy, to make government more transparent, and to increase accountability. There will be a stronger role for the European Parliament(EP), greater involvement of national parliaments, and a stronger voice for citizens.

One of the factors that the EU has long recognised is the so-called “democracy gap” at the EU level. This has been largely due to the relative lack of power vested in the EP in comparison with national assemblies. Many Eurosceptics have criticised this in the past, quite rightly. Now that this issue is being addressed, it is probably those same people who are now protesting about the demise of democracy.

With some people, whatever you do, you just can’t please them!

The treaty will make Europe a more democratic place to live in, and also will make Europe more influential and more competitive on the world stage.

The heads of government of all the EU member states have signed the treaty, so they all obviously can see nothing wrong with it. If people do not agree with what their government is doing, they, of course, have the right to vote against them. Most of the states have ratified the treaty now. The people of the Irish Republic voted no to the treaty in a referendum, because they were concerned about certain ethical issues, such as abortion. Now that the EU has agreed to allow exceptions in the case of Ireland, it looks likely that the second referendum will produce a yes vote.