European consumer organizations urge Irish voters to say "No" to Lisbon Treaty
Six non-governmental organizations (NGOs), collectively representing consumers from all 27 European Union (EU) countries, are strongly urging Irish voters to vote "No" in Ireland's upcoming referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Rather than resulting in Europe becoming "more efficient", as the treaty's supporters claim it would do, the NGOs are deeply concerned that a "Yes" vote in Ireland on June 12 and the treaty's subsequent enforcement by Brussels would only further worsen the EU's growing democratic deficiencies. The supposed political and procedural efficiencies that would result from the treaty's ratification, they argue, can only be achieved via the further compromising of democracy, personal privacy and freedom of choice - all three of which are now increasingly under threat in the EU.
"Italians and people from many other European nations are relying on Ireland to send a strong message to the European bureaucracy: Is it so difficult to understand that people in Europe want more of a say in their political future? A united Europe may be a positive development but it becomes meaningless and even damaging if the decision to unite is not made by the people themselves and the way to do it is determined over our heads," says Kathleen Gordon, speaking for La Leva di Archimede. "After all, should it not be our Europe?"
Dr Robert Verkerk, executive director of the Alliance for Natural Health, said: "The citizens of Europe are fast realizing that the European game plan extends way beyond just a common market, but now encroaches on some of the principles democracies the world over have held most dear, especially freedom of speech and freedom of choice. One of the areas likely to be most compromised is our freedom of choice in healthcare, and particularly our freedom to choose natural or alternative approaches, including the avoidance of vaccinations for our children. We urge the people of Ireland to vote 'no' on June 12 – a 'yes' vote is little more than a slippery slope to centralized, dictatorial control from Brussels."
Paul Anthony Taylor, External Relations Director of the Dr. Rath Health Foundation and the campaign's coordinator, added: "Surveys show that a majority of European citizens want referendums on the Lisbon Treaty. Nevertheless, despite the fact that citizens in France and the Netherlands had already voted 'No' to 95 percent of its content in 2005, European governments, including those of France and the Netherlands, have chosen to sign this treaty against the will of the people and without referendums. This is not democracy, but dictatorship, and an ominous sign of what is to come if this treaty is adopted. European citizens should have the right to control their own lives and make their own decisions about what is best for themselves and their families. A 'No' vote in Ireland on June 12 would therefore send a strong signal to the EU that any political system must retain the support and respect of its citizens, rather than their resentment, or else it will perish."
Lutz Kliche, Chairman of the Alliance for Health, Peace and Social Justice commented: "It is truly outrageous that in an issue of such significance and long term consequences for their future, the citizens of Europe are not allowed to decide. Looking at the way the so called 'reform treaty' was pushed through the German parliament and the Bundesrat (which includes state governments), two things become more than clear: the treaty is of utter importance to the power groups in Europe, and by no means are we, the people, considered to have a say in this. This gives great importance to the decision of the Irish people, them being the only ones who have to be consulted by constitution. We therefore call upon our Irish co-European citizens to reject the reform treaty as a fraudulent manoeuvre, a dirty trick, to take away basic citizen's rights under the guise of so-called progress. This progress only serves the multinationals and their stakeholders."
Scott Tips, President of the National Health Federation, stated: "Given that the Irish referendum is the only vote being held on this treaty, it is extremely important that this referendum is being held and that the desires of the citizens of Ireland be heard. It is unfortunate however that other European member states have chosen not to allow their citizens to vote on this issue and I therefore congratulate the Irish government for evidently being the most democratic state in the European Union and permitting this vote to take place."
Zeus Information Service hopes that the Irish people will vote 'No' and turn the European Project into disarray. Louise McLean, its Editor, said: "A strong 'No' vote is threatened by Irish farmers who realise that EU legislation will severely hamper their agricultural industry. In what is termed by the EU as 'Post-Democracy' we will see a massive assault on our freedoms and privacy as Common Law – which has been enjoyed for centuries in the UK – is swept away. There are powerful moves through EU directives to curb our right to buy or treat ourselves with natural therapies, food supplements and alternative medicines. Little do people know that 110,000 EU laws which have quietly been transposed into UK law will be enforced after the new Lisbon Treaty is ratified and most certainly by 1st January 2009. Something very sinister called Common Purpose has now infiltrated every institution in Europe to prepare people for membership of the European Union."
For more information: http://www.eu-referendum.org/english/index.html