The Irish government has launched its campaign in favour
of the EU treaty with the new Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD, calling
for a 'yes' vote in next month's referendum.
"It would be a very backward step to resign from the strategic
political positioning we have established in 35 years of (EU)
membership" - Mr Cowen said on Monday (12 May). "It would
have very serious implications."
The government push comes as the most recent poll, by the
Sunday Business Post, put the 'yes' camp in
front with 38 percent, the 'no' side on 28 percent
and 'don't knows' at 34 percent. This represents a
better showing for the 'yes' side than two weeks ago,
when a poll by the same newspaper put the yes and 'no'
vote at 35 and 31 percent, respectively. The undecided remained
"To tackle modern forces such as globalisation, climate change
and cross-border crime, countries cannot stand alone - and
for us, this means that we need an EU which has the structures,
policies and procedures capable of having an impact" - added
The Taoiseach, who only came into office earlier this month,
hit out at the 'no' side for what he said was its attempts
to 'distort' the contents of the treaty. The referendum,
now formally confirmed for 12 June, is set to be the first
major challenge of his leadership.
The Referendum Commission, tasked with informing citizens
about the EU treaty, has a budget of €5 million, while the
slogan of Fianna Fáil is - 'Good for Ireland, Good
Ireland is the only EU member state to have a referendum
on the new treaty and the government is coming under enormous
pressure to secure a 'yes' vote - with all 27 countries
required to ratify the document for it to come into force.
Analysts suggest that much will depend on voter turnout among
the 3-million-strong electorate. A low turn-out could result
in a 'no' vote, they say, while a higher turnout is
set to work more in favour of the 'yes' camp.
For more information on The Referendum Commission - Click