Launch of the 'White Paper' on the Reform Treaty by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Dermot Ahern T.D.
Speaking at the launch of the 'White Paper' on the Reform Treaty at the Custom House Quay in Dublin this afternoon, Minister Dermot Ahern said
“Today the Government is launching its White Paper on the EU Reform Treaty, the ratification of which will be the subject of a referendum in about 2 months from now.
The Irish people, and the huge majority of their political representatives, have always been favourable to the European project. We can see for ourselves the clear evidence of the immense national benefit we have derived from EU membership. It is a real priority for us in the years ahead to consolidate and build upon the great gains we have made as an EU Member State. The best way to achieve this is within a successful European Union. The changes provided for in the Reform Treaty will help to create the kind of Union that will serve Ireland’s future needs.
Our economy fundamentally depends on a stable international environment, with clear trading rules. This is what the European Union has delivered. We are today in the International Financial Services Centre, a location that has been transformed beyond recognition in the years of our EU membership and whose unparalleled success has been significantly influenced by our membership of the single currency.
All around us, we see a new and dynamic Ireland that has been made possible within the European framework. Our economic success has brought back emigrants who had in past years felt obliged to seek a better future in Europe and elsewhere. I want to see our economic prosperity deepened and consolidated in the years ahead. The best recipe for this is for Ireland to continue with our successful European journey.
The White Paper provides a clear, detailed and factual account of the content of the Treaty. It is designed for the information of voters, and demonstrates, once again, the commitment of the Government to ensuring that the public is fully informed of the issues at stake in this referendum. The White Paper situates the Reform Treaty in context, describing how it evolved during almost 6 years of negotiations. It explains the Treaty’s structure, which involves amendments to the existing EU Treaties. It also explains some of the terms commonly used in relation to the European Union. The intention is to make the Reform Treaty as accessible as possible to the ordinary citizen.
We will be distributing this White Paper, for example through public libraries, and copies will be available to the public from the Department of Foreign Affairs. It will of course also be available on the Government’s dedicated Reform Treaty website, www.reformtreaty.ie, where visitors can also access the text of the Treaty itself and related documents.
Despite what opponents of the Union say, the very fact that we are having a referendum demonstrates a number of important points about our sovereignty. First, no EU Treaty or amendment to a Treaty can occur without the agreement of all Member States. Second, it is for each State to decide the method by which it will ratify an EU Treaty. We will decide nationally whether or not a referendum will be required to ratify any future treaty changes. Nothing in the Reform Treaty changes this in any way.”
Ends + + +