Catalysts for reform of the Oireachtas role in European Union affairs
The LisbonTreaty and economic
crisis: catalysts for reform of
the Oireachtas role in European
Introduction: the impact of the LisbonTreaty and
the 2008–2013 economic crises
The Oireachtas role in European policy is evolving. If the rate of change is slow,
powerful forces are, nonetheless, over time producing an altered landscape.
Chapter 5 offers a perspective on the present-day Oireachtas role. The focus of
this chapter is on the process of change. Two of the greatest recent catalysts for
change have been (a) the evolution and entry
The Irish referendum on the LisbonTreaty
A case study of the Irish referendum on
Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
‘I think we have run a strong campaign. We have explained the issues in
considerable detail and all our TDs [parliament members] have been out
campaigning personally for a yes vote.’ It was the press officer for one of
the major ‘yes’ parties who presented this excuse at Dublin Castle on the
day of the count. What he presented was a textbook
The LisbonTreaty and the
constitutionalisation of the European Union
When final result showed 67.1 per
cent of Irish voters in favour of the LisbonTreaty, with 32.9 per cent
voting against, Irish political elites were visibly relieved. Irish
Taoiseach Brian Cowen celebrated that ‘today we have done the
right thing for our own future and the future of our children
To what extent did Europeanisation contribute to Ireland's transformation from ‘poor relation’ to being admired and emulated? This book examines how Europeanisation affected Irish policy-making and implementation and how Ireland maximised the policy opportunities arising from membership of the EU while preserving embedded patterns of political behaviour. The book focuses on the complex interplay of European, domestic and global factors as the explanation for the changing character of the ‘Celtic Tiger’. It contests and complements previous accounts of the Europeanisation effect on Ireland's institutions and policies, providing an analysis in view of Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in June 2008. The book demonstrates that, although Europeanisation spurred significant institutional and policy change, domestic forces filtered those consequences while global factors induced further adaptation. By identifying and assessing the adaptational pressures in a range of policy areas, the book establishes that, in tandem with the European dimension, domestic features and global developments were key determinants of change and harbingers of new patterns of governance. In challenging the usually unquestioning acceptance of the EU's dominant role in Ireland's transformation, the study adds conceptually and empirically to the literature on Europeanisation. The review of change in discourse, policy paradigms and procedures is complemented by an exploration of change in the economy, regional development, agricultural and rural policy, environmental policy and foreign policy. This analysis provides clear evidence of the uneven impact of Europeanisation, and the salience of domestic and global mediating factors.
The European Commission had become one of the more contentious actors during both Irish referenda on the Lisbon Treaty. This book discusses the role of the European Commission and institutions more generally, as well as the policy area of justice and home affairs. It argues that it is important to evaluate the role of EU institutions for the process of European integration. The book suggests a reconceptualisation of the framework of supranational policy entrepreneurs (SPEs), which is often referred to by the academic literature that discusses the role of agency in European integration. It focuses on the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) at the policy and treaty levels; primarily on four grounds: academic literature, SPE behaviour, EU's policymaking, and the interplay between treaty negotiations and policy-making. To analyse the role of the European institutions, the book combines an analysis of the Lisbon Treaty in relation to the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice with an analysis of the policy-making in the same area. The public policy model by John Kingdon with constructivist international relations literature is also outlined. The external dimension of counter-terrorism in the EU; the role of the EU institutions in EU asylum and migration; and the role of he Common European Asylum System (CEAS) is discussed. The book also analyses the role of the EU institutions in the communitarisation of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, and thus subsequently in the Lisbon Treaty.
This book offers a timely exploration of the nature and scale of the emergent EU human rights regime by critically examining how and why EU intervention in human rights matters (with a key focus on child protection in Romania) as part of Eastern enlargement, has had feedback effects on the EU’s own institutional and policy structures. By drawing on the human rights conditionality (particularly in relation to children’s rights) as applied to Romania, this book demonstrates that the feedback effects regarding children’s rights have transformed the EU institutions’ role and scope in this policy area both in EU internal and external human rights dimensions. The process-tracing dimension illustrates why policy issues emerge on EU political agenda, which is in line with agenda-setting processes, and why they persist over time, which reflects historical institutionalist accounts. It is also shown that Eastern enlargement has raised the profile of Roma protection, international adoptions, the disabled and mental health at the EU level. The impact of these developments has been further reinforced by the constitutional and legal provisions included in the Lisbon Treaty. It is argued that Eastern enlargement along with the post-Lisbon constitutional changes have generated the emergence of a more robust and well-defined EU human rights regime in terms of its constitutional, legal and institutional clout.
blocks from which political co-operation and a new moral
community are slowly and gradually being built.
From the Constitutional Treaty to the LisbonTreaty
At the moment of writing, it seems that the failure to approve the
Constitutional Treaty is ﬁnal. In the aftermath of the negative results of
referenda that were meant to approve the Constitutional Treaty in France
and the Netherlands in 2005, the Union was led to a long period of reﬂection, during which it became clear that a signiﬁcant minority of member
states, including the United Kingdom and Denmark, might
Reflections on how the role of the Irish parliament in European affairs might be improved
entitled “Enhancing the Role of the Oireachtas in EU
A second Oireachtas Sub-Committee, chaired by then-Opposition TD Lucinda
Creighton produced the Report of the Joint Sub-Committee on the Review of the Role
National parliaments in the European Union
of the Oireachtas in European Affairs5 (entirely concerned with the Oireachtas’ EU-
related role) in July 2010.
Both reports derived from the LisbonTreaty’s ratification debate. The political impact of this Treaty for the Oireachtas thus rivalled its direct legal consequences. As Jacobs has
will examine the extent to which the requirements of accountability
are being met in the EU, taking into account recent developments in the
Constitutional Treaty and the LisbonTreaty.
Political and other forms of accountability
To be accountable to someone for something is to be under the obligation
to give an account to a certain agent that is assigned to receive this account.
It consists in answering questions about one’s actions regarding a particular
task by producing a coherent set of explanations and justiﬁcations. Accountability is the institutionalised
European Union to make themselves visible in the conclusions of intergovernmental conferences (IGCs). The temporal peaks (or perhaps plateaus) in the
debate have been the negotiation and ratification of the Treaty of Maastricht in
1990–93, the negotiation and ratification of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1995–
99, and the lengthy process of Treaty reform that began with the Convention on
National parliaments in the European Union
the Future of Europe in 2001 and finally played itself out with the coming into
force of the LisbonTreaty in late 2009.
In this chapter