Making the fiskalpakt Ireland-proof
Arvamus 09 Mar 2012  EWR
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The EU is doing everything it can to ensure that the Irish referendum is stitched up before a vote is cast.

Bruno Waterfield, spiked
Announced last week, Ireland’s referendum on the ‘Treaty for stability, coordination and governance in the economic and monetary union’ is expected to take place in May or June this year. This treaty or ‘fiskalpakt’ – which aims to enshrine Eurozone fiscal rules in national constitutions policed by the European courts – is signed by 25 of 27 EU countries and is a European Union treaty in all by name.

It has been little noted, but the treaty text contains an innovation, described by European diplomats as ‘a very unusual step’. As opposed to all other EU treaties, the fiskalpakt will enter into force when only 12 out the 17 Eurozone member state signatories have ratified it.

This new ratification threshold overthrows the principle, which has held for all previous EU treaties, that all parties must ratify an agreement before it can enter into force. In 2001 and 2008, Irish voters rejected the Nice and Lisbon EU treaties, respectively. Rerun referendums followed, but until Ireland voted ‘yes’ the new treaties were prevented from entering into force.

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