Thursday, 1 October 2009

An appeal to the Irish people: for European democracy

A message to the Irish people:

The European Union has great potential to be a force for good in this
continent and this world. We can see some of this potential realised in
the role it has played in preventing major wars on its territory since
1945, and more recently in the lead role it has played on matters
environmental.

But today, the E.U. is suffering from a legitimation crisis, a
'democratic deficit' of huge proportions. Since the Enlightenment the
idea of self-rule by free and equal citizens has been the cornerstone of
European democracy. Constitutions can give expression to this idea of
shared freedom and thus serve as the basis for democratic institutions.
They can, however, only do so, if we have reason to believe that the
constutions are understandable and acceptable to the citizens.

The Lisbon Treaty is effectively the constitutional treaty for the
European Union. The major part of its content has been rejected in
referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005 and in Ireland in 2008.
It needs to be thoroughly revised in a transparent and democratic manner
before it is brought back to the citizens of Europe for approval.

In that context, the referendum that your country is holding next week
stands as a unique beacon of hope.

We would ask you this: don't vote against the Lisbon Treaty out of petty
nationalism. (The island of Ireland knows all too well of what excesses
of fervour about national identity can lead to, in terms of human
suffering.) Be internationalists: as intellectuals from different
European countries outside your borders, we are asking you to speak for
us. Hundreds of millions of European citizens have been denied a voice
at the ballot box: exercise that power on our behalf.

Vote against the undemocratic project of Lisbon. Vote so that all of us
will be given that same right that you, rightly, have been given.

Our common future is in your hands. Force them to stop, to think again,
to democratise.

Please vote No to the Lisbon Treaty, on October 2nd.


Thomas Wallgren, Finland, Head, Department of Philosophy, University of
Helsinki
Susan George, Paris, France, Author, Board Chair of the Transnational
Institute
Rupert Read, UK, Reader in Philosophy, UEA, Norwich
Mladen Dolar, Professor, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Mikael Böök, Project Manager, Helsinki, Finland
Dr. Steen Brock, Associate Professor, Dr. Phil.,Department of
Philosophy, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Dr. John Collins, School of Philosophy, UEA, UK
George Daremas -Greece, Sn. Lecturer, University of Indianapolis -
Athens campus
Haris Golemis, Nicos Poulantzas Institute (Greece)
J.P.Roos Professor,Dept Social Policy,POB 18, 00014 University of
Helsinki, Finland
Dr Derek Wall, Visiting Tutor, Dept of Politics, Goldsmiths College, London.

4 Comments:

Blogger Rupert said...

This has been published in today's IRISH TIMES! :-)

2 October 2009 at 14:00  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

Which particular measures in the treaty do you object to, and are there any you would support?

2 October 2009 at 15:08  
Blogger weggis said...

Dear Rupert,
Please add me to the list of signatories -

A Weggis, GCE Woodwork (1965)

2 October 2009 at 18:31  
Blogger Rupert said...

My main objections are to the militarisation of Europe and the enforced neoliberalism built into the Treaty.

4 October 2009 at 15:55  

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1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read: An appeal to the Irish people: for European democracy 4. 12. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 23. 24.

25. 26. An appeal to the Irish people: for European democracy 27. 28.

29.
A message to the Irish people:

The European Union has great potential to be a force for good in this
continent and this world. We can see some of this potential realised in
the role it has played in preventing major wars on its territory since
1945, and more recently in the lead role it has played on matters
environmental.

But today, the E.U. is suffering from a legitimation crisis, a
'democratic deficit' of huge proportions. Since the Enlightenment the
idea of self-rule by free and equal citizens has been the cornerstone of
European democracy. Constitutions can give expression to this idea of
shared freedom and thus serve as the basis for democratic institutions.
They can, however, only do so, if we have reason to believe that the
constutions are understandable and acceptable to the citizens.

The Lisbon Treaty is effectively the constitutional treaty for the
European Union. The major part of its content has been rejected in
referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005 and in Ireland in 2008.
It needs to be thoroughly revised in a transparent and democratic manner
before it is brought back to the citizens of Europe for approval.

In that context, the referendum that your country is holding next week
stands as a unique beacon of hope.

We would ask you this: don't vote against the Lisbon Treaty out of petty
nationalism. (The island of Ireland knows all too well of what excesses
of fervour about national identity can lead to, in terms of human
suffering.) Be internationalists: as intellectuals from different
European countries outside your borders, we are asking you to speak for
us. Hundreds of millions of European citizens have been denied a voice
at the ballot box: exercise that power on our behalf.

Vote against the undemocratic project of Lisbon. Vote so that all of us
will be given that same right that you, rightly, have been given.

Our common future is in your hands. Force them to stop, to think again,
to democratise.

Please vote No to the Lisbon Treaty, on October 2nd.


Thomas Wallgren, Finland, Head, Department of Philosophy, University of
Helsinki
Susan George, Paris, France, Author, Board Chair of the Transnational
Institute
Rupert Read, UK, Reader in Philosophy, UEA, Norwich
Mladen Dolar, Professor, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Mikael Böök, Project Manager, Helsinki, Finland
Dr. Steen Brock, Associate Professor, Dr. Phil.,Department of
Philosophy, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Dr. John Collins, School of Philosophy, UEA, UK
George Daremas -Greece, Sn. Lecturer, University of Indianapolis -
Athens campus
Haris Golemis, Nicos Poulantzas Institute (Greece)
J.P.Roos Professor,Dept Social Policy,POB 18, 00014 University of
Helsinki, Finland
Dr Derek Wall, Visiting Tutor, Dept of Politics, Goldsmiths College, London.

30. 31. 32.