This referendum presents you with an important decision. Jobs and economic recovery in Ireland depend on European countries working together to overcome the Eurozone crisis. I believe that a YES to the Treaty is vital to secure our future.
The Treaty will create common rules that all countries will respect. It limits the amount governments can borrow. It will ensure that a crisis like this can never happen again. It will build a safety net and guarantee that Ireland can fund public services in the event of an emergency. It will not make all our problems go away, but it is an important step on the road to recovery.
WHY HAS THE TREATY COME ABOUT?
This Treaty was agreed by the majority of EU Governments because the Euro does not have adequate systems to protect itself. As a result, the present crisis has hugely damaged the EU’s central objectives of “sustainable growth, employment, competitiveness and social cohesion”. This must be fixed.
WHAT BENEFITS WILL THE EU STABILITY TREATY OFFER?
Members of the Euro will co-ordinate their policies to prevent a crisis developing and becoming ‘contagious’, spreading the impact from one to another. Members who approve the EU Stability
Treaty will be able to access the Emergency Borrowing facilities established to help countries who cannot borrow because international lenders have lost confidence in them.
WILL THE EU STABILITY REQUIRE IRELAND TO MAKE MORE CUTS?
The simple answer is NO. Ireland has already committed to borrowing targets, agreed with the Troika, which are unaffected by the Treaty. However, if the Treaty is rejected, Ireland will not have access to low interest emergency funds after 2013 and may have to cut faster in preparation.
WHAT DOES THE EU STABILITY TREATY REQUIRE COUNTRIES TO DO?
- Governments of Euro-zone countries will work together on reforms to promote jobs, growth and competitiveness within the Euro area and will meet twice a year with the European Central Bank to discuss how best to manage the currency.
- It requires all governments in the Euro-zone to keep their borrowing and debts within set limits, close to a balanced budget, taking account of peaks and troughs.
- Governments who stray significantly outside the limits must take steps to correct the problem over a defined period of time.
- It allows the European Commission to make recommendations about the type of correction needed and to monitor their implementation.
- It builds flexibility into the operation of these rules, to take account of exceptional circumstances or where a qualified majority of other Euro-zone members disagree with their application. Such flexibility is important in uncertain times.
- A government which fails to implement a programme of correction can be taken to the European Court of Justice, which can rule on measures that must be taken.
- Refusal to follow the Court ruling can result in a government being fined.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE EU STABILITY TREATY IS REJECTED?
Unlike previous EU Treaty votes, an Irish ‘NO’ cannot stop the other countries going on without us. A ‘NO’ vote will create serious uncertainty about how we will fund ourselves in two years’ time. We will have no safety net. This uncertainty will damage international confidence which is returning – as recent job announcements by Twitter, PayPal, Microsoft and others show. It is a huge risk and one that is certain to force more austerity on our people.
I hope this information gives you some of the answers to questions you may have on the EU Stability Treaty. Councillors Mary O’Shea, Ray McAdam and I ask you to vote YES on May 31st because this Treaty supports JOBS & RECOVERY and it PROTECTS OUR INTERESTS.