July 03, 2008

There's a place just outside Lisbon

I know I'm a little late for explaining why it was all eyes on Ireland just recently but I didn't have anything within the remit of the blog to go on until someone emailed me this letter. Now cop this:
An Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D.
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings ,
Upper Merion Street ,
Dublin 2.

c.c. Mr. Michael Martin T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Mr. Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy
Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso, President of EU Commission
Mr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament
All Irish MEP's and all media.

Re: Treaty of Lisbon

Dear Taoiseach,

We are writing to you today in order to ensure that you are fully aware of the reason why we campaigned against the Treaty of Lisbon.

We did so because of our deep concern at proposals within the Treaty regarding EU FOREIGN POLICY. The Treaty of Lisbon allows for the creation of an EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy. The Treaty would end Ireland 's Sovereign Right thereafter to espouse an independent foreign policy. This threatened both our neutrality and our sovereignty.

One issue, above all others, is a source of outrage to large sections of the Irish Electorate - EU support for Israel , which breaches the Geneva Convention and countless UN Resolutions. In what appears to be complicity with US Policy on the Middle East , the EU has negated all principles of democracy and human rights. The EU rewards Israel - the illegal Occupier, while punishing the Occupied – the Palestinian People. This is manifestly obvious from the EU-Israel Association Agreement for Israel and sanctions for the Palestinian People. The failure of the EU to penalise Israel for repeated breaches of the Agreement, shows that it operates a double standard and ignores the terms of binding Agreements.

Article 2 of the Agreement makes it conditional upon Israel respecting human rights. In the face of blatant disregard for Article 2, the EU is preparing to strengthen ties with Israel . This double standard represents a real danger to democracy, the rule of law and respect for humanity in the world today.

We, the 'Lisbon Campaign for Middle East Justice and Peace', have little faith in the direction of EU foreign policy and even less in EU rhetoric on democracy and on human rights. The EU must enforce the terms of binding Agreements. Ireland must retain the sovereign right to formulate and espouse its own foreign policy.

Yours Sincerely

Sean Clinton,
Coordinator
Lisbon Campaign for Middle East Justice and Peace
So Ireland is the place just outside Lisbon and long may it continue.

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