Muslim Community Lobby Ireland is an independent organization established 1st May 2007. Its motto is TO USE THE VOTE RIGHTLY AND TO RAISE THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY AWARNESS WITH THEIR RIGHTS AND TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING OF OTHER EXISTING GROUPS. لترشيد استعمال الصوت الانتخابي ولتوعية وتعريف المسلمين بحقوقهم في ايرلندا وان يعيشوا بتفهم للواقع وللجماعات الاخرى الموجودة على الساحة

Monday, June 15, 2009

Martin to lobby EU for support on Lisbon demands

FOREIGN affairs Minister Micheál Martin will lobby his EU colleagues today to ensure they support Ireland’s demands for legally binding guarantees on neutrality, tax and abortion.
A number of countries, led by Britain, are concerned about giving Ireland protocols on the three issues as part of the deal for Ireland putting the Lisbon treaty to a second referendum. They are pushing for an undertaking by the EU leaders on the issues but the Irish Government has said it wants protocols – the most water-tight form of guarantees. France and Germany are generally supportive of giving Ireland the protocols that would be added to the next EU treaty being agreed by all member states. But they are waiting to see the final version of the texts to ensure it would in no way change the Lisbon treaty and lead to it being re-ratified by all their parliaments. The treaty has already been agreed by the parliaments of the 26 member states with the presidents of the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland still to sign off on the document. Following two days of meetings between Irish officials and the member states helped by the Czech presidency, the Irish agreed to have a text ready by today. They have been reluctant to make a text public until they have it more or less finalised in a version acceptable to all member states. It will be discussed at today’s foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg though the presidency is expected to keep it as brief as possible. The ambassadors from member states are meeting tomorrow to go over the text in detail. However, it is expected that EU heads, at their summit in Brussels, will make the final decision on Thursday. They may make some adjustments to the text but they may also try to find some other way of giving the guarantees the full legal weight the Irish are seeking by some means other than a protocol. Meanwhile, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has said he is worried the Government will not be able to convince the public to vote for the Lisbon treaty later this year. He is meeting the Taoiseach Brian Cowen this week and will present him with a plan and said that the referendum campaign must begin immediately. The first item on the list must be to review the way the State applies EU legislation as the way it is interpreted creates too many unnecessary problems for business, Mr Kenny said. The opposition leader said he fears citizens would reject Lisbon a second time because they do not trust Fianna Fáil and because there is an even tougher budget on the horizon. "There is a great degree of cynicism in politics in general and I would not take anything for granted," he said. He is worried people will react negatively to the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) legislation in July, which Fine Gael claims will add more debt to the taxpayer, and to the estimates for an even tougher budget in September/October. He believed there was a small window of opportunity to hold the vote in early October and said the Government must name the date for it this week. "What people really want is a general election... People are so angry there is a fear that they will say they will not vote for Europe," Mr Kenny said. Many of those who voted against the Lisbon treaty last year did so because of the effect of EU legislation according to Mr Kenny. He said his party had done a study that showed the problem lay not with the laws but with the way they were being interpreted and enforced by the state.

By Ann Cahill, Europe CorrespondentMonday, June 15, 2009