In the wake of the No vote to the Lisbon Treaty EAPN Ireland believes that the EU needs to address the social concerns of citizens if it is to get their support.
Paul Ginnell, Policy and Support Worker with EAPN Ireland said ‘we know from meetings around the country in the run up to the referendum that people believe that the EU is protecting the interest of the wealthy and business and is not focusing on social needs’.
This view is supported by the large ‘No’ vote in disadvantaged constituencies. According to EAPN Ireland, this clearly highlights the fear that Social Europe has been abandoned in favour of neo-liberal solutions. EAPN Ireland believes Ireland and the EU must address such issues before it can expect to build majority support for the EU project.
Surveys following the vote against the EU constitution in The Netherlands and France in 2005 highlighted that they did so for similar social reasons. EAPN Ireland concludes that the rejection of the Treaty highlights the need for a more social Europe.
In the run up to the Referendum EAPN Ireland organised a series of regional meetings around the country and a national roundtable on the social aspects of the Treaty.
Further information on these activities is available at: www.eapn.ie