EurActiv - Letters to the Editor


Regarding ‘EU ministers: Treaty ‘not dead’, ’emergency plan’ needed’:

Following the Irish ‘No’ vote, the future of the Lisbon Treaty will be a key issue at the EU summit on 19-20 June.

The European Union certainly needs more democratic and open decision-making mechanisms, as well as a greater degree of transparency that increases the inclusiveness of all its citizens and their trust in the decision-making bodies and the EU. In order to reconnect Europeans with the decisions taken at EU level, more effective communication channels are urgently needed.

In the face of such challenges, it seems clear that the European institutions should have a legal basis that guarantees democratic governance: offering equal attention to all citizens, giving a greater role to the European Parliament and more involvement for national parliaments, and finding new forms of interaction with their citizens.

Therefore, despite its rejection in the Irish referendum last Friday, I expect the EU leaders to find a solution to save the Lisbon Treaty. I appreciate EC President Barroso’s call for the ratification process to go on and the EU foreign ministers’ determination to find an ’emergency plan’. I encourage the nine governments that have not yet ratified the Lisbon Treaty to keep their ratification plans alive.

Nevertheless, from a participatory perspective, I deplore the fact that EU leaders have not agreed on a Europe-wide referendum to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. In that case, there could be no plausible criticism of the fact that Ireland, a nation whose population is less than 1% of the EU, can decide the future political direction of the continent – if no alternative option is found. A Europe-wide referendum is the only way that all EU citizens can have a say on the future of their European Union. And it would have enabled the EU to know its people’s current degree of satisfaction.

In summary, greater involvement of the EU citizens themselves is urgently needed.

Bettina Schwarzmayr


European Youth Forum

The European Youth Forum is a platform of 97 youth organisations in Europe, working with the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations to promote the interests of young people.

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  1. Do you know that an Irishman wrote about European integration and how it would develop before the founding fathers of the EU – Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman were born in 1888 and 1886?

  2. Francis,

    I have been trying to get in contact with you. Please call me on 0785-2371662. I helped you with you first book. I could do with you help.

    Thank you

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