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(From Business and Finance)
The Lisbon Treaty and Ireland Senator Eugene Regan SC proposes new methods by which a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, if required, should be conducted.
The meltdown in the international financial system and the onset of economic recession highlights once again how Ireland's vital national interests are best protected by being at the heart of Europe. As the European Union seeks to develop a coordinated response to the banking crisis and improve the regulatory regime at EU level, the need for Europe becomes obvious - and Ireland has no interest in being on the sidelines.
Despite Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, polls show that Irish people's support for the European Union remains as high as ever. It is true that Irish people share with their fellow European citizens' broader concerns about deepening European integration, about democracy within Europe, about the sphere of activity of the European Union and its ultimate boundaries. But these are not issues that can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction in any treaty. Indeed, the heads of state and government who approved Lisbon thought that, by doing so, they were addressing some of these issues and doing so quite effectively. Such underlying concerns about the European Union do not explain the loss of the Lisbon referendum.
It might be said that the failure to pass Lisbon in the referendum was due more to a breakdown in Irish …