Friday, 6 March 2009

Ireland-EU News Round-up

There have been several Europe-related developments in Ireland recently, so here's what I've noticed over the last few days:

Story 1: The Greens want Ireland to pull out of the EDA, apparently to placate their membership, as the Greens didn't get enough party support to campaign on the pro-Lisbon side in the June Referendum (I think they required 2/3 of party members to vote for a pro-Lisbon campaign strategy). Ireland's membership of the EDA was a stumbling block, it seems (I didn't hear about this at the time, but I may have missed it). Cowen has been reported as wanting some sort of compromise.

The EDA is supposed to make it cheaper for European governments to buy good quality military hardware. If you want to make the argument that it's good for arms dealers, so therefore it's bad, then that's up to you. Personally, I support the EDA - I find it hard to believe that the idea of getting the same defense at a lower cost (or better defense at the same cost) could be a bad thing. Since the Greens seem to be pushing this because they realise that it would be bad for Ireland to pull out of the ESDP, it looks like they just want to pull out of something, just to be seen to be doing something.

Story 2: Libertas are involved in yet more membership shenanigans, with the revelation that they may have offered an eurosceptic Swedish party almost €1 million for its support and some sort of joint platform in the European elections. No response to these allegations on their website yet; can they not get someone to run their website properly or deal with Libertas' online presence if they have as much support as they claim? It will be interesting to see how they respond - I can't see any way they have of turning this into a Brussels conspiracy. (Picked up here and here and here by Peoplekorps (apparently talks about the €1 million did take place...) and reported here by the Irish Times).

Story 3: Well, more of a continuation of one I've already written about. The Liberals in the EP are going to accept Fianna Fáil's application to join their group, and will assist them with money in the second Lisbon referendum if they need it. I'm not too happy with Watson's alarmist comments about the referendum being an in-or-out decision for Ireland. It's this kind of talk that comes across as scaremongering, which should be left to Libertas.

There's an interesting article about Ireland and Germany by the Irish Times here. I wonder if I can find Our Farm on the internet?

No comments:

Post a Comment