Berlusconi Advocates Creation of 'Core Europe' if Ireland Says No Again
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has suggested that if the Irish people vote against the Lisbon Treaty a second time, a group of European Union member states should move to create a "core Europe" in order to implement the treaty.
"If the Lisbon Treaty on EU reform does not pass, we need to completely revisit the current functioning of Europe to create a core of states that operate beyond unanimity," said Mr Berlusconi on Friday (18 September) at a press conference after meeting with Premier Slovenian Borut Pahor, according to Italian state broadcaster RAI News 24.
Mr Pahor was in Italy for a working visit to discuss greater economic co-operation between Rome and Ljubljana, talks on companies from the neighbouring entering foreign markets jointly, and the drafting of budgets in the current economic crisis.
"Europe cannot truly take decisions because decisions must be taken unanimously and that cannot continue," said Mr Berlusconi.
The concept of a core Europe' moving ahead toward further integration rears its head regularly when movement forward on a particular policy is blocked by a minority of member states.
Various politicians and academics have advocated the idea that an inner core of EU member states drive forward with deeper integration via the development of a new organisation, often described as a European Federation, alongside the existing European Union.
Some experts believe that even if the Irish approve the treaty, such a move remains inevitable as the union expands beyond 27 member states.
When the shoe was on the other foot however, and Italy appeared to be left outside a core of EU countries, Rome argued strongly against the idea.
In January 2004, when the leaders of France, Germany and the UK met in Berlin to adopt a common approach ahead of a spring EU summit and patch up differences that had emerged over the Iraq war, Italy, then the fourth largest economy in the Union, was left out.
Franco Frattini, the country's foreign minister at the time, later an EU commissioner and now Italy's foreign policy chief once again, said he was opposed to a core group of countries making decisions without respect to the wishes of other states.
"There cannot be a directoire', there cannot be a divisive nucleus which would run the risk of posing a threat to European integration," he said.
The comment was made also in reaction to affirmation of French support for a "pioneer group" of states made by then-president Jacques Chirac after the previous summit.
"It would be a motor which would set an example," he said. "It will allow Europe to go faster, better."
His German counterpart, Gerhard Shroeder, warned against failure to ratify the European Constitutional Treaty, the document which later was re-edited to become the Lisbon Treaty in the wake of its rejection by French and Dutch voters in 2005.
Defeat for the constitution would produce a "two-speed Europe," he said.
The UK's foreign secretary in this period, Jack Straw, backed the idea that the UK should be part of this core: "It would be logical to couple Britain with the Franco-German engine, since Europe is going to expand from 15 to 25 member states."
McCreevy, Barroso warn against No vote
Separately this weekend, Irish EU commissioner Charlie McCreevy warned that if Ireland rejected the Lisbon Treaty again, the country's economy would be hit by international markets.
"[A No vote would turn] a very very serious economic problem for Dublin into a full blown economic crisis," he said during a business lunch in Dublin, the Financial Times reports.
"International investors would take fright" he added, "at a time when our government, our banks, and our businesses need to raise more international capital than ever."
Such a vote would give a "negative signal to international money and bond markets, making it harder and dearer for the government to raise capital, to fund our exchequer deficit and for our banks to fund credit for businesses that create jobs and growth".
Also on the weekend, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was in Ireland campaigning for the treaty where he warned that the No side was lying about what is contained in the treaty.
"I have seen some pamphlets that are completely dishonest intellectually and politically. They are saying sometimes lies pure lies. They are trying to play with fear. I don't like fear, I like facts," he said, according to the Irish Times.
"It's legitimate to have different opinions no one is forced to have the same opinion but please, don't distort the facts. Saying, for instance, that there is a kind of minimum wage in Europe is completely false, absolutely false. It's in no treaty, no regulation. It is completely false."
Support for the Yes side is currently at 53 percent of voters, according to a poll by Millward Brown Lansdowne. The same survey put the No side on 26 percent and the undecided at 21.
The last poll published, by the Sunday Business Post on 13 September, put the Yes side on 63 percent.
Red Ice Radio
Marta Andreasen MEP - Brussels laid Bare, Financial Fraud within the European Union
Nigel Farage MEP - The State of the EU & The Undemocratic Treaty of Lisbon
David Icke - The Lisbon Treaty & The Corrupt European Union
Simon Murphy & Paul Flynn - Truth Coalition Ireland, Calling All Irish: NO to the Lisbon Treaty
Anthony & Derek from Wise up Journal - NO to the Second Lisbon Treaty Vote
EU Plans Massive Surveillance Panopticon That Would Monitor Abnormal Behavior
EU Constitution Co-Author on the Lisbon Treaty "Democracy at Stake"
EU Democracy Unveiled
EU leaders sign The Lisbon Treaty (The New EU Constitution)
EU Constitution author says referendums can be ignored
Obama and EU to reinvent global politics, pundit says (Steps Towards a New World Order)
Former Soviet Dissident Warns Of EU Socialist Dictatorship
Irelands 100 Reasons to Vote No to the Lisbon treaty
Lords usher in EU treaty with 12-hour farce
EU spends £2.3bn a year on Pro-Brussels propaganda
EU flag and anthem revived by MEPs
The Dark Roots of the EU
Masonic Influence in the EU
The EU Communitarian Agenda and The New Feudalists
Lisbon Treaty allows for Death Penalty across EU - The "'Summer of Rage" could be Lethal
UK's payments to EU jump by 60 per cent
EU states will be free to fingerprint children
Anger at plans for EU wide police force with powers to snoop on Britons
Nigel Farage on the New Euro-Nationalists (Video)
Top Nazis Planned EU-Style Fourth Reich
Nigel Farage: Don't turn the EU into a Soviet Union (Video)
Secret report reveals how MEPs make millions
Vladimir Bukovsky - The European Union - the New Soviet Union? (Video)
How Much Will A New Federal EU State ost? - Marta Andreasen speaks on the Lisbon Treaty (Video)
Exclusive Video Interview With Jim Corr - The Lisbon Treaty (Video)
Latest News from our Front Page
Russia calls for an investigation into the Moon landing
A Russian official has has cast doubt on the first moon landings and demanded an investigation into what really happened after original Nasa footage of the event disappeared.
Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Russian government's Investigative Committee, says he wants an inquiry after the video from 1969 and a piece of lunar rock, which was brought back to earth, went ...
The Solution to White Privilege: #TakeUsDown
The only way to please the âanti-racists.â
Joseph Sobran famously challenged liberals to define a society in which they would be conservatives. Today, the challenge is to define a society in which white people are not racist.
The last half century has seen a continual shifting of the goalposts when it comes to defining âracism.â During the so-called Civil Rights movement, ...
Revealed: Meditation can trigger depression and anxiety, according to new research that claims practice can release traumatic memories and psychological issues
Meditation has long been said to do wonders for the brain and stress relief, new reports have challenged this idea and suggest that the practice could, in some cases, actually be causing harm.
Clinical cognitive and behavioural psychologist and mediation expert, Dr Paula Watkins, suggests that during meditation, people can be taken too far into the ârecessesâ of their minds and ...
Threat from Artificial Intelligence not just Hollywood fantasy
Oxford academic Dr Stuart Armstrong warns humanity runs the risk of creating super intelligent computers that eventually destroy us all
From the dystopian writings of Aldous Huxley and HG Wells to the sinister and apocalyptic vision of modern Hollywood blockbusters, the rise of the machines has long terrified mankind.
But it now seems that the brave new world of science-fiction could ...
Greece Will Open 700 Bank Branches On Thursday - For Limited Pension Withdrawals Only
Good news - some Greek bank branches will re-open sooner than expected.
*Greek official: 700 bank branches to open thursday for pensions
Bad news - only pension withdrawals are allowed in limited size.
*Greek pension withdrawals will be limited to EU240: official
|More News » |