Why should you vote for the Lisbon Treaty? The answer is 12

7th April, 2009

Last night I addressed a public meeting in Maynooth organised by Young Fine Gael on the Lisbon Treaty. I stressed that the reason for voting Yes lay in understanding how profoundly world economic and political power is changing.

Do you remember Bertie in his yellow coat on the beach with world leaders? That picture was taken at a G8 meeting. Our then Taoiseach was attending as the President of the European Council. However the decisions taken last week to revert the global slump were taken by the G20. (Hence my headline, 20 – 8 = 12 of course).

We are now living in a multipolar world (or post American), with the new economic powers of China, India, Brazil and the oil exporters increasingly setting the economic agenda. This means that the power of Europe is in decline. We have more competition.

The Lisbon Treaty is designed to help the EU punch above it’s weight. To hold it’s own against new powers. Ireland can only benefit from this.

If you think there is pressure on living standards now, just imagine what it would be like if we were a small open economy directly competing against China. That is why the answer is 12.