From a Green Party press release:
De Burca suggests EU-wide referendum in 2009
â€“ EU institutions cannot have authority without popular consent says Green Party Europe spokesperson
In today’s Seanad debate on the Lisbon Treaty, Green Party Spokesperson for European Affairs, Senator Deirdre de Burca called for urgent action by the European Union to address the issue of the democratic deficit and the levels of disengagement by citizens from EU institutions which she claims has been evident during referendums that occurred prior to the Lisbon treaty referendum.
“Much of the commentary that has followed the recent No vote of the Irish people to the Lisbon Treaty has concentrated on the challenge that confronts the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, as he faces into a European Council meeting on Thursday,” she said. “It is to be hoped that a sense of European solidarity, so frequently referred to during the recent referendum campaign, will be in evidence when he meets his EU colleagues this week to discuss the way forward. The European Union’s ‘legitimacy’ problems did not begin with the Irish rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, which is symptomatic of a wider and more enduring problem within the EU.”
Senator de Burca said that as the areas of competence of the EU institutions expand, it is essential that EU institutions are not seen to have “authority without popular consent”. She argued that if this issue is not addressed by its Member States, it will undoubtedly prove a fatal flaw in what is otherwise a very successful, ambitious and innovative trans-national political project, designed to respond to the challenges of the 21st century.