Roche stresses benefits of Reform Treaty
The Minister for European Affairs, Dick Roche, T.D., has said that
the Reform Treaty will give the Union the flexibility and
capability to deal with the major economic challenges ahead.
“The Reform Treaty is a logical step in the right direction for
Europe as we move into a challenging phase in world
Minister Roche was speaking at the Government of Ireland Scholars Conference which brings together individuals from EU Member States who have studied at UCD under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ special programme of assistance to EU candidate countries and recently-acceded Member States.
In his address, Minister Roche highlighted the benefits of past EU Treaty changes and argued that the Reform Treaty would have a similarly positive impact.
The Minister said:
“Had the Irish People given into fear of the unknown or accepted the dire predictions of those who so confidently forecast doom and destruction in 1972 when we as a nation voted to ‘join Europe’ does anybody seriously believe Ireland would have reached the position we enjoy today.
Had the Single European Act of 1986, that created the Single Market that gave Irish businesses an unrivalled opportunity to grow and create new jobs been rejected – would we be a better place today?
Similarly, the story of our economic success of recent years cannot be told without reference to the Maastricht Treaty in 1991. That Treaty provided for economic and monetary union and launched the Euro. Both have been of considerable benefit to this Nation. The Amsterdam Treaty opened way for the Member States to work together in justice and home affairs, crucial in the fight against the growing threat of cross-border crime.
The Nice Treaty opened the door allowing 12 new member States to join the EU. Nice gave people who had spent the second half of the twentieth century living under communism the opportunity to enjoy freedom or to realise their true potential. It also expanded greatly the domestic EU market.
The Reform Treaty is a further step in developing Europe’s capacity to deal with changing circumstances. The Irish Government’s support for the Reform Treaty is not an act of “going with the flow”, as some would have us believe. Rather it is a judgment call by all those Irish political parties which have supported those past Treaties as good for Ireland and which believe that the Reform Treaty will also be good.
Any fair or reasonable analysis would overwhelmingly show that the past judgment of these parties who favour a Yes vote has proved right every time and that the doubters have been wrong by a long way.
Our support for the Reform Treaty is an act of commitment. A commitment to preserve the gains Ireland has made in the past three decades. A commitment to secure Ireland’s future development.
The Reform Treaty will give the Union the flexibility and capability to face the major challenges ahead”.
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.
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