SINN FÉIN NICE TREATY REFERENDUM MANIFESTO
VOTE NO to the TREATY OF NICE
I am asking you to vote NO in the referendum on the Treaty of Nice on June 7th because I believe that this Treaty paves the way for the creation of a new superpower, an EU Superstate with its own army dominated by the largest countries.
Sinn Fein want to be part of a people's Europe where the aim of policy and the goals of it's institutions are to improve the quality of life of all in terms of access to: housing, health services, education and employment; that guarantees an adequate standard of living.
We want to see a Europe defending our democratic rights not eroding them. We want a Europe that will act collectively to promote equality. We want to see a Europe that will tackle racism and act decisively to protect and enhance our environment on an EU level.
We want to be part of a Europe run democratically from the bottom to the top, not the reverse which is the case today.
We want to expand Ireland's role in international affairs through positive neutrality in action. Sinn Fein believes there is no role for the European Union in military and defence matters. These should be left up to the individual states. International peacekeeping should be under the auspices of the United Nations.
Voting No to Nice offers a chance to emphasise the positive alternatives to the economic and political union strategy such as building a Europe of equals where all states regardless of their wealth, their population or strength of armies would have an equal say in planning a path to work together.
Vote NO to Nice on June 7th.
Gerry Adams MP
On June 7th the people of the 26 Counties will be asked to vote on the Treaty of Nice - the fifth referendum on the European Union and, if passed, tying the Irish people, our political institutions and our economy closer to an EU superstate.
Sinn Fein believes that this treaty is NOT in Ireland's best interests. It will:
- undermine our sovereignty
- bring us closer into a European Army and NATO and
- relegate us to the second division of a two-tier European Union.
Since the Single European Act in 1987 the clear direction of EU development has been towards the creation of a giant state. More and more democratic control has been taken away from us in relation to both domestic and international affairs. The EU Commission and the EU Council of Ministers have become more powerful. The Nice Treaty increases that power and removes yet more democratic control from the hands of elected representatives in the Dáil. The Treaty of Nice is not about enlargement. It is about further centralising the EU, placing greater power in the hands of the larger states and allowing them to create a two-tier EU.
Séard is brí le flaitheas ná cearta daoine a aithint seachas cumhacht a bhronnadh ar feidhmeannaigh neamhtofa..
We want to see Europe defending our democratic rights, not eroding them.
Sinn Fein stands for democracy, accountability and equality within Europe. Sinn Fein are asking you to Vote NO.
In this Treaty `Enhanced Co-Operation' is the euphemism for the development of First-Class and Second-Class membership of the EU. A core group of states will be able to advance ahead of the rest, using the EU institutions to further their perceived common interests, including common foreign and security policy.
Under the terms of the Nice Treaty any eight states regardless of size can organise closer ties, needing only the support of a qualified majority. This means in reality that though the eight smaller states could agree to some form of co-operation they really need the approval of at least one of the larger states to make it happen. However the larger states could easily reach the majority needed to allow them to co-operate more.
This is a fundamental shift away from the stated idea of the EU as a partnership of equals with no state having less power or influence because of its size, and all proceeding together on the basis of agreement.
The Nice Treaty is being presented by its supporters as the Treaty of Enlargement. It is no such thing. Sinn Fein is not opposed to new member states joining the EU. That is a decision for the people of those states and for the existing members.
But in reality this Treaty is about changing very significantly the structure of the existing 15-member European Union. By introducing Qualified Majority Voting in a whole range of new areas, 30 in all, it moves away from the right of veto of individual states and away from the requirement for unanimity based on consensus.
The automatic right of each state to nominate a Commissioner is also going. Larger states like Germany, France, Italy and Britain automatically treble their votes in making EU laws from 2005 while small states like Ireland only double theirs. At present Ireland has 3 votes out of 83 on the Council of Ministers. In an EU of 27 members we will have 7 out of 345, a fall from 3% to 2%.
These changes will come in from 1 January 2005 regardless of whether there are any new EU members at that time.
ERODING NEUTRALITY - INTO A EUROPEAN ARMY
The government's U-turn on NATO's Partnership for Peace was followed by its commitment of troops to the Rapid Reaction Force, the core of an EU Army. The Nice Treaty further develops the common foreign, security and defence policies of the EU. It erodes Irish neutrality and independent foreign policy.
Support for the EU armaments industry is written into the Treaty. Already, as a result of involvement in the Rapid Reaction Force and the PfP this State's defence spending has increased significantly. The EU's ``Rapid Reaction Force'' will have 80,000 combat ready troops and 250,000 personnel in total ready to enforce EU foreign and security policies not just within the EU or on its borders but up to 2,500 miles outside of the EU.
This is not some kind of Red Cross. It is an army designed for war, an army to impose by force the interests of the EU or an elite within it. There is no requirement in Nice to have a UN mandate and in the past when NATO states went to war against Yugoslavia they did so without a UN mandate.
Sinn Fein supports a positive role for Ireland within a United Nations framework.
IF WE VOTE NO
If we decide to reject the Treaty of Nice it will have to be renegotiated, as under EU law all Member countries must ratify a Treaty before it can come into force.
It will not lead to the Irish economy losing any EU funds or being `punished' by other states.
It will offer the chance to show the positive alternatives to economic and political union such as building a Europe of equals where all states, regardless of their wealth, population or strength of their armies would have an equal say in plotting a path to work together.
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