Argument: The Lisbon Treaty threatens the neutrality of EU member states

Issue Report: EU constitution reform treaty (Lisbon Treaty)


“An alternative guide to the Lisbon Treaty”. Sinn Fein, Liberal Irish political party. – Undermining neutrality This state’s neutrality is being systematically eroded through the use of Irish taxpayers money to support the European Defence Agency, our involvement in the Rapid Reaction Force, Partnership for Peace and the EU Battle Groups and the
use of Shannon airport by US troops on their way to war in Iraq.

There is not one mention of the word neutrality in the Lisbon Treaty and no direct acknowledgement of the neutral member states of which this state is one. This is in marked contrast to the references to NATO obligations and NATO compatibility. While there is a reference to the “specific character of the security and defence policy of certain member states”, this is not the same as neutrality and provides little protection. The failure of the Irish government to seek a specific reference to neutrality is very worrying.

The Triple Lock, whereby military interventions abroad require a UN authorisation and the consent of the government and Leinster House doesn’t prevent our involvement in an EU common foreign and security policy, doesn’t prevent the creation of a Minister for Foreign Affairs who can speak of all EU member states or the establishment of an EU diplomatic corps.

It doesn’t prevent Irish taxpayers money being used for EU defence purposes. There are three specific clauses in Article 28 which will result in more Irish taxpayers money being spent on Irish and EU military capabilities. Unlike other member states the Irish government did not seek or secure an opt out in relation An alternative guide to the Lisbon Treaty to any of these clauses. The Danish government secured an opt-out from the EU Defence Agency.

The Lisbon Treaty also allows for the creation of mini alliances [structured cooperation] within the EU – states with a more extensive military capacity taking on the more difficult tasks. And this would be done with this states ‘approval’. And under the Lisbon Treaty these tasks would now include: ‘joint disarmament operations, military advice and assistance tasks and post-conflict stabilisation’.