About Europe January 23, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, Irish Politics, The Left.
This may have got lost in the news before Christmas, but the People’s Movement had an interesting poll run on their behalf by RedC on attitudes towards the European Union. Commissioned by the EU Democrats it had two major findings.
Patricia McKenna said it was notable that despite two referendum campaigns 69% of Irish people were still unaware of the most significant political change introduced by the Lisbon Treaty – which is that voting in the all powerful EU Council of Ministers will move to a population- based system giving a huge increase in voting power to the big states at the expense of small states like Ireland. In 2014 Ireland will see its vote more than halved to less than 1% while Germany will see its vote doubled to 16%.
[the] finding that 72% of Irish people would be resistant to any cuts in pay, social welfare or pensions to ensure the survival of the euro currency should provide a strong health warning to any further plans by government for continued austerity measures. It is significant to note that despite Irish people’s current attachment to the euro a large majority will resist any further pain to ensure its survival. Clearly Irish people’s generosity will only stretch so far. The Irish taxpayer has already paid a high price for the euro’s survival. It is now a well known fact that in order to protect the euro
project the EU and ECB put pressure on the Irish government to provided the infamous 2008 blanket guarantee for all loans by Irish banks thus ensuring that these debts were transferred onto the backs of the Irish taxpayer.
People’s Movement member Kevin McCorry pointed out that while Irish public opinion appears polarised in terms how concerned they believe the ECB is with Irish interests, the findings overall show a slight majority (52%) of people have little or no confidence in the ECB’s ability to take account of Irish interests. He said this is a significant finding, in that the main EU institution controlling the economies of all euro-zone countries including Ireland attracts little public confidence from Irish people. Furthermore, it highlights yet again the serious democratic deficit at the heart of the EU structure because even if 100% of people distrusted the ECB it would be irrelevant as there is no mechanism to hold this vital decision- making institution to account.
It’s interesting to contextualise that with the following from the avowedly pro-EU European Movement poll by RedC run last year about attitudes to EU membership itself:
The large majority of the Irish Population believe that Ireland should remain as part of the EU (85%) , and on balance believe that Ireland has benefited from being a member of the EU (83%).
Clearly, given the polling data referenced above that latter isn’t an unnuanced view where the Irish population simply takes as read that all things EU are positive. Indeed there’s one other finding from the EM poll which is worth considering:
Almost half of all adults in Ireland claim that they think of themselves as both Irish and European, with a further 6% stating they see themselves as European only. However the remainder 47% see themselves as Irish Only.
Looking at the figures a slightly different story emerges. The actual figures are 45% consider themselves Irish and European, 47% Irish alone and 6% as European. Close enough to 50/50. In a way such a blunt delineation of identity is curious.
Peoples News issue no. 97 Date: 12 – 1 – 14
Table of Contents
P 1 . Peoples Movement/ Red C poll – lack of public awareness of changes in EU decision making process and strong public resistance to pay more for survival of Euro
P 2. A Gallup survey published las week shows that affection for the EU has slumped in Ireland.
P 3 . Chopra’s lessons; It is unfair to impose the burden of supporting banks on taxpayers when senior bondholders get paid out. Euro zone partners stopped the Irish from imposing haircuts on senior bondholders.
P 3. Conclusions of the European Council (19/20 December 2013) – Welcome to NATO!!
P 3. Will Irish troops support French ambitions in Africa?
P 5. A campaign for the European Union to become a “United States of Europe” will be the “best weapon against the Eurocritics,” according to Viviane Reding, vice president of the European Commission.
P 5 . Latvians less than pleased! On January 1st last, Latvia became the eighteenth country to join the euro zone.
P 6. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian-Social Union (CSU), plans to call for fewer EU commissioners and less new EU legislation in next year’s European Parliament elections.
P 7. German arms manufacturers paid millions in bribes to induce Athens to purchase German weaponry, worth several billion Euros.
P 8. How the security industry is shaping EU legislation – lobbyists in action!
THE PEOPLE’S NEWS contains comment on developments in the EU from an Irish and democratic perspective
Back issues of the newsletter are available from the website http://www.people.ie
The Peoples Movement blog http://www.irishreferendum.org