I’m not that much informed on most EU stuff, but one of the ideas I had about the treaty of Lisbon, was that it was essentially the same thing as the proposed European Constitution (proposed but rejected a few years earlier), with a new “look and feel”. And guess what, turns out it was true. In this petition, 20 reasons are given to reject the Lisbon treaty. It’s aimed at Irish people (Ireland did a referendum on the issue, and the majority of voters voted against the treaty), and the first reason states:
1 The Lisbon Treaty agreed by EU leaders in November 2007 is almost identical to the EU Constitution agreed by EU leaders in 2004.
The Constitution was democratically rejected by the electorates of France and the Netherlands in referenda in the summer of 2005. They objected to the undemocratic and right-wing content of the Constitution. That EU leaders have returned with the same text in a different format is undemocratic and is an insult to the democratically-expressed wishes of the peoples of France and the Netherlands.
However, the most worrisome, IMHO, are these (emphasis added):
14 Article 28c mandates: “Member states shall undertake to improve their military capabilities.” Taken with the “start-up fund” and “specific procedures for guaranteeing rapid access to appropriations… for urgent financing of [unspecified] initiatives in the framework of the common foreign and security policy” (detailed in Article 28d), member states will be obliged to increase their financial contributions to the military capabilities of the EU.
15 Article 28/7 reaffirms that “commitments and co-operation” in the area of common security and defence “shall be consistent with commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation”. This effective alignment to NATO is not balanced with any commitment to protect the neutrality of member states such as Ireland.
The major role for the military, during peace time, is to enforce a nation’s sovereignty, namely by guaranteeing its territorial integrity. To transfer this role to the EU effectively changes its nature. And it does so in a very dangerous way, for it subtly crafts the same kind of alliances that a century ago, swiftly caused the assassination of an Austrian nobleman to transform into a gigantic conflict that plunged the entire world — it now goes by the name of World War I.
To finish up, I want to add the following: as a Portuguese citizen, one of the things that shocked me the most to hear about the Lisbon treaty, was our President (Head of State) saying that (in a comment regarding Ireland’s rejection) governments should not do any kind of referenda regarding international treaties! Yes, he said that, in a TV interview. On this, the only thing I can say is that at the core of any healthy democracy, lies the sovereignty of its people. Alienations of that sovereignty, such as the one proposed, irrespective of their motivations, subvert the democratic regime. For it keeps the name “democracy”, but slowly reduces the amount of power that the actual people can wield — de facto decreasing their freedom. Healthy democracies endure as long as we are able and willing to strive for freedom, true freedom, and not just the illusion thereof.