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Dáil Éireann Private Members Business (Sinn Féin)  21 - 22 March 2012


“That Dáil Éireann:

notes that:

on 16th December, 2010, the European Council agreed a two line amendment to Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union allowing for the creation of a permanent emergency funding facility to be known as the European Stability Mechanism (ESM);

the text of the amendment to Article 136 states clearly that the stability mechanism be ‘activated if indispensable to safeguard the stability of the euro area as a whole’;

on 11th July, 2011, the European Council agreed the final text of the Treaty Establishing the European Stability Mechanism which, when ratified by the 17 signatory states, would create a permanent emergency funding vehicle for EU member states known as the ESM;

Recital (2) of the ESM Treaty incorporates the wording of the new Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the effect of which is to make the overriding legal and policy mandate of the ESM the safeguarding of the stability of the euro area as a whole;

under the terms of the ESM Treaty, the ESM would come into operation from July 2012 and would have a total fund of €500 billion of which Ireland would contribute €11 billion;

neither the Article 136 Amendment to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union nor the ESM Treaty have been ratified by the Irish State;

the ratification of the Article 136 Amendment will take the form of the proposed European Communities Act (Amendment) Bill 2012, which is due to come before the Oireachtas in this session;

the ratification of the ESM Treaty will take the form of the proposed ESM Bill 2012, which is due to come before the Oireachtas in this session;

in January 2012 the European Council agreed to an amendment to the Treaty Establishing the European Stability Mechanism linking access to ESM funds to ratification of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, more commonly known as the ‘Austerity Treaty’;

making ratification of the ‘Austerity Treaty’ a condition of eligibility for ESM funds runs contrary to the letter and spirit of the amendment to Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the European Council summit statement of 21st July, 2011 which said that the European Council were, ‘determined to continue to provide support to countries under programmes until they have regained market access, provided they successfully implement those programmes’;

the insertion of this controversial amendment into the ESM Treaty is intended to frighten public opinion into supporting the ‘Austerity Treaty’ in the event of a referendum in any EU Member State;

the Irish Government did not oppose nor seek to prevent in any way the insertion of this controversial amendment into the ESM Treaty; and

while the Irish government did not have a veto on the final text of the ESM Treaty, it did and continues to have a veto over the Article 136 Amendment to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and could have used this veto to secure the removal of the controversial amendment from the ESM Treaty;
states that the reason for the Irish Government’s acquiescence to this controversial amendment was to ensure that, in the event of a referendum in Ireland on the ‘Austerity Treaty’, the Government could use this issue to frighten people into supporting a treaty that, if assessed on its own merits, would not secure popular support; and

calls on the Government to:

confirm it will not ratify the Article 136 Amendment and the ESM Treaty until after the ‘Austerity Treaty’ referendum, and will not bring forward the proposed European Communities Act (Amendment) Bill 2012 and the proposed ESM Bill 2012 until the people have had their say on the ‘Austerity Treaty’;

debate the ‘Austerity Treaty’ on its own merits and to desist from using the controversial clause in the ESM Treaty as a way of securing support for the ‘Austerity Treaty’; and

state publicly that in the event of a rejection of the ‘Austerity Treaty’ by the people in a referendum, it will seek to remove the controversial clause from the ESM Treaty, and will, if necessary, use its veto on the Article 136 Amendment to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to secure the removal of the controversial clause.” — Seán Crowe, Gerry Adams, Michael Colreavy, Pearse Doherty, Dessie Ellis, Martin Ferris, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, Mary Lou McDonald, Sandra McLellan, Jonathan O'Brien, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Brian Stanley, Peadar Tóibín.


 [16 March, 2012]