Thursday, October 1, 2009

Slovak MEP Anna Záborská: Statement on the upcoming Irish referendum

Does the EU Lisbon Treaty really respect fundamental and non negotiable values?

Having served since 2004 as a Member of the European Parliament for a very small EU Member State (Slovakia), I am persuaded that negotiating "national guarantees" is part of the political strategy. Those guarantees do not have any legal effect in EU law, which always has primacy over national legislation. If the Lisbon Treaty is passed the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is part of the Treaty will become legally binding, will have primacy and will confer extensive rights to the European Court of Justice. Whenever there will be a discord between the Lisbon Treaty and national laws or constitutions, the EU Court in Luxemburg will decide. Recent rulings show that the EU Court of Justice is more likely to take a stand in favour of the EU legislation. Who will protect the national legislation?

In 2005, my own Slovak government was under attack because we wanted to sign an additional protocol on objection of conscience related to our Concordat. The EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights (which at this time belongs to the EU Commission) declared that any provisions on objection of conscience would not be compatible with EU legislation!

In January 2009, the European Parliament urged Member states to recognise abortion rights among other ‘rights’, based on the provisions of EU Fundamental Rights Charter. The existing EU legislation on non discrimination would force Ireland and all the other Member States to change their national family policy to make them compatible with the so-called EU standards.

Just three weeks ago, Lithuania was been threatened by the EU Parliament because of the protection of minors in its national school law. The EU Parliament supposed that this provision could harm the principle of non discrimination on the ground of "sexual orientation". But nobody was interested in arguments in favour of the protection of the child and the rights of the parents to educate them. There was no respect for the principle of subsidiarity.

The next Member State could be Ireland or anybody else. Can the Irish government guarantee that the EU will not attack the Irish Constiution or the guarantees when the upcoming Council directive on non discrimination needs to be implemented in national law? Can the Irish Government guarantee that Ireland will not be similarly threatened on their pro-life and pro-family legislation?

I am almost certain that an Irish No to the Lisbon Treaty would not cause the collapse of the EU, as the every day experience in the institutions clearly shows.

I would invite the Irish voters to carefully consider also my arguments which intend to defend an EU society based on values which are fundamental and non negotiable, and which the Lisbon Treaty does not respect enough.


MEP Anna Záborská
European Parliament
ASP 3 F 357
B 1047 Brussels
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