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3 July 2008 Edition

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Lisbon Treaty is finished, McDonald tells French press

Mary Lou McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald

THE Lisbon Treaty is finished, Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald declared in Paris on Monday as French President Nicolas Sarkozy took over the Presidency of the EU.
The Sinn Féin MEP was speaking at a joint press conference with senior French politicians including Jean Luc Melenchon, French Socialist Senator, and President of Pour la Republique Sociale (PRS), PS member of the Assemblee National Marc Dolez, and Marie-Georges Buffet, General Secretary of the PCF.
“The Lisbon Treaty is finished. I note with interest today’s news that Germany and Poland’s ratification process is now in doubt. Regardless of the outcome for these two countries the fact remains that Irish people have spoken. Ratification must cease and the process of a new negotiation begin”, McDonald said.
“Today I have discussed with my French colleagues the need for a new Treaty, one which deals with the shared concerns voiced across Europe by the people themselves.
“Concerns raised during the Irish referendum on democracy, militarism, workers rights and public services are not just of concern to the people of Ireland. They affect and animate people across Europe.
“The primary responsibility lies with the European Council to deliver a better deal for the EU. However it is also the responsibility of all of us who argued against the Treaty to outline with clarity what we believe a new Treaty must contain. For our part Sinn Féin last week submitted to the Irish government a detailed demand of the minimum such a Treaty must allow for.
“However for now the focus must turn to France and its steering of the EU’s response to the Irish vote. Octobers European Council meeting will be an important marker of President Sarkozy’s leadership.
“Will Mr. Sarkozy listen to the people and begin the process of securing a better deal for the peoples of Europe or will he collude with those unwilling to respect the Irish referendum, as they did the French and Dutch before us.
“What is at stake is too great to ignore. To be truly pro European is to protect and uphold the Union’s core values, democracy and partnership. EU leaders must seize the moment. A new Treaty can and must be negotiated”, she said.
She briefed Ambassadors from EU member states on what needs to happen following the Irish rejection of the Lisbon Treaty and ongoing developments in the peace process.
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