Minster for European Affairs, Dick Roche T.D., launches booklet on the Reform Treaty
Minister for European Affairs, Dick Roche T.D., launched a booklet on the Reform Treaty this lunchtime at Government Buildings
Speaking at the launch Minister Roche said
“We are now in the region of four months away from the probable Referendum date and as can be seen from the media, the campaign is starting to begin in earnest. It is very timely therefore that today I am launching this guide to the Treaty, in both Irish and English. This document describes the Treaty’s main provisions and explains their significance. It is written in straightforward, accessible language. Anyone who reads this Guide will become well acquainted with the Reform Treaty.
The Guide explains how the Reform Treaty increases democratic controls within the Union, and how it will impact on the EU’s institutions. It identifies the new responsibilities being conferred on the Union and the limits of the EU’s competences. The Guide outlines how the Treaty will impact on the Union’s external role and explains how Ireland’s military neutrality and our economically vital corporate taxation regime remain absolutely secure.
This bilingual guide to the Reform Treaty will be given wide circulation. Advertisements are being placed in national newspapers informing the public about the Guide and the availability of the Reform Treaty website.
Reform Treaty opponents complain about a lack of information, but this is a bogus claim. There is plenty of information available on the Treaty and there is more on the way.
In December, we set up a dedicated website, www.reformtreaty.ie which contains a copy of the Treaty, a summary of its key features and many other relevant documents. A summary pamphlet was produced in December which has been widely distributed. Tomorrow will see the publication of a Consolidated Text of the EU Treaties, a copy of which has been put in every library in the country. A White Paper is being prepared for publication next month. It will contain a thorough analysis of the Treaty’s provisions and their importance for Ireland.
I am confident that the coming months will see the Irish people becoming increasingly familiar with the Reform Treaty. When people get to know the essence of this Treaty, they will realize that it contains many sensible provisions that will make for a stronger and better Union. The challenges facing Ireland's economy and environment today are global. We cannot deal effectively alone against climate change, rising energy costs and global economic downturns. Ireland is the greatest economic success story of the European Union and this Treaty will allow us to do even better. That is why the Government will be campaigning strongly for a ‘Yes ‘vote.
Many of the opponents of this treaty have opposed to every European treaty since 1972, warning of the dangers to our neutrality and that Ireland would be forced into military alliances. None of these things have come to pass and yet the same people are here again repeating the same old tired and discredited arguments.
Ireland’s membership of the EU has been overwhelmingly positive in many aspects of our national life. The economic benefits of membership have been especially strong. As an island nation in a globalise world we, more than almost any other country, must engage in international trade for our economic well-being. The two great achievements of the EU - the Euro currency and the creation of the Single Market provides us – a country of just over four million people - with a market of half a billion people and unprecedented business opportunities. These markets continue to be vital for our future prosperity.
I would urge everyone to make the effort to understand the significance of the Reform Treaty. This guide will help people achieve that understanding".
Note for editors:
The Reform Treaty Guide is available on the website: www.reformtreaty.ie. Copies can be requested by post from the following address: Reform Treaty Guide, EU Division. Department of Foreign Affairs, 76-78 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2. The Guide can also be requested by phone on lo-call 1850 211 602. The guide is available in both English and Irish. Bilingual Irish/ English copies of the guide are attached in PDF form.