Monday, September 28, 2009

The Lisbon Treaty: The OSF View

This is an interview with Marcas O' Mhaoldomhnaigh, Ógra Shinn Féin National PRO.

Can you sum up, in 30 words or less, why OSF are opposed to the Lisbon Treaty?
Ógra Shinn Féin are opposed to the Lisbon Treaty because if passed it would result in a
further militarized EU where smaller states have less say. While further undermining workers rights it
also contains a Revision Procedure which would allow heads of state remove vetoes in particular areas in the future.

We've all seen the Sinn Fein posters about increased militarisation in the EU if the Treaty is passed.
Explain briefly how the Treaty will enshrine militarisation if it is passed.
If passed the Lisbon Treaty would require member states to increase their military capacities.
The treaty also states that in the event of "armed aggression" being directed at a member state then all
other members states are required to intervene or provide assistance (Art.188R). This undermines Irish neutrality.
However this is not all, the Treaty also talks about "assisting third countries in combating terrorism in their territories".(Art.28)
This part is particularly disturbing as it could justify the use of troops in places like Afghanistan.

Would OSF be in favour of a new Treaty? If so, what would OSF like to see in a new treaty?
ÓSF are pro-Europe and if a new treaty which protected Workers Rights, Irish neutrality and many of the other issues we have highlighted
were to be put forward then I believe we would support it. (Please note I can't say for definite we would as it would have to be put before the SF Ard Comhairle,
however assuming everything we had outlined was protected etc. then I would see no reason why we would oppose it).

A group called Generation Yes has been targeting young people out and telling them to vote Yes. Does the Treaty have anything in it that may specifically concern Youth voters?
First off I would like to say something about Generation Yes. This group has consistently criticized opposition groups by stating that we have not been dealing with the text of the treaty ( ) while saying that they have. This is untrue, SF and many of the other groups have consistently dealt with the text of the treaty while groups like GY have resorted to laughable scaremongering such as saying that "Some people think Ireland will have to leave the EU, others think there isn’t a legal way to do this. No one knows for certain what will happen if we vote ‘no’." ( ). Well perhaps if GY knew anything about how the EU works they would realize that no country can be marginalised under the current EU, nor can we leave unless we actually vote to remove ourselves from the EU. However if the LT is passed then, in the future, a situation where countries may be forced out could arise.
I would also question the alleged "independence" of a group whos first meeting was held at IBEC headquarters in Dublin.

Does the Treaty have anything in it that may specifically concern Youth voters? Why should Youth voters vote No?
The EU certainly concerns youth voters. It is about the future direction of the European Union.
If young people want to see Europe where workers rights are protected, where Irish neutrality is not undermined and where we have a
strong voice in Europe they should vote no. The government had a strong mandate to go back to Europe and demand a renegotiated treaty.
They failed the Irish people in this regard and are forcing them to vote again on the same treaty. Young people should vote no, to allow a better treaty to be negotiated which does not give more power to larger states or facilitate a "race to the bottom" in terms of
publuic services.
For a more democratic and de-militarised Europe, people should vote No.

Many thanks to Marcas O' Mhaoldomhnaigh for his time and patience.

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