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The EU & the Irish referendum

33:36

5-EU - Irish referendum

Are you for or against the EU? On the streets of London the public are split down the middle, most want more information and certainly a chance to vote. In the studio, Oxford University lecturer Chris Bickerton, discusses the nature of the EU and the Lisbon Treaty. Having apparently ‘got it wrong’ and voted no to the treaty the first time the Irish were asked to vote again. Chris explains this is how the EU operates. To be seriously pro European he argues, we have to abolish the EU.

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Related topics: Debates, Democracy, International

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Millie said:

Yes a chance to vote on this shower is the bottom line and I do think we can be pro European and anti EU. Well put together piece draws out anti-democratic nature of EU v. well and poses the issue of concensus politics where you fight for nothing and agree amoung yourselves in a back room and contestation-standing up for what you believe in and winning people to it…only the latter I believe can really bring us a better society. The former hands over decision making to god knows who.

Sil said:

Great discussion on the EU and the Irish referendum. I am slightly amused at the hypocrisy of the EUs so-called democracy and the general discussion around elections on the world stage. For example, the reportage on the elections in Afghanistan was riddled with accusations of corruption on the part of the Afghan government, yet when the EU openly expresses its inherently anti-democratic nature by asking the Irish to vote again very little is said on this and it is accepted that a second vote is necessary for the bigoted Irish folk to make the only vote that they should be casting. Seriously, what a load of shit and double standards.

Zett said:

Europe is great. I love the advantages there are. I’m not British, yet at the moment I live and work in the UK and I can do everything I want to do. Just like in Germany, where I am from. However, I do think the EU needs to undergo changes.

To be honest, before watching this segment, I thought of ‘the EU’ and ‘Europe’ as commutable terms. Thanks for telling me the difference! And here we go – that’s what people talked about in the segment. The lack of knowledge the public has about Europe and the European Union. That’s a point that needs to be addressed in the countries. People have to be told what it is about more clearly, more often, with words everyone can understand. The governments have to talk to its people about it since Europe is all about us, the citizens of the European countries.

It is rather aggravating to see how in the EU things are being decided over our heads. Democracy is in danger. People’s opinions aren’t asked for, or aren’t being listened to. That’s just plain patronizing. It’s sending out the message that we cannot think for ourselves. That our conclusions aren’t worth to be considered seriously. Don’t underestimate us, EU!

Rashpal said:

The political elite think the ‘end can justify the means’. That it would be better for them to decide and not us. Well let me say the end has no substance without the appropriate ‘means’, and I am glad that there are voices that challenge the idea decisions can be made by default.

Myla said:

The EU has always suffered from a ‘democratic deficit’. The problem is not the EU itself but its member states who seem to fear losing power to the EU. They seem to believe that creating a fully democratic EU with directly elected officials and direct access to citizens erodes member states’ power vis-á-vis their own citizens. The Irish voters were actually slightly well treated in the sense that they were at least given a chance to have a say in the EU’s future (the outcome notwithstanding). This tells us of the sheer arrogance and the contempt with which Europe’s politicians hold the voters of the 27 member States.

Nyika said:

Some questions I’m now moved to consider include whether ‘economic development’ is supposed to benefit the interests of corporations or those of European citizens; and also the idea of the political terrain being closed off to the public and left to the devices of politicians. I feel it vital to increase education and access to information for all on the issues involved, so that people are better able to make informed judgements. In this respect, I found this film very illuminating.

Kjahern said:

This is a good programme, starting off by getting the view of citizens through vox pops, and then going into a more in-depth analysis with Chris Bickerton. Be prepared to learn a lot as Bickerton takes you through how the EU is both a tool for and against democracy.