Europe and the United States after the Irish No to Lisbon Treaty

Former US Ambassador to the UN and Senior Vice President for Public Policy Research at the American Enterprise Institute John R. Bolton wrote in the Italian newspaper Liberal on June 25, 2008, on the future of transatlantic relations after the Treaty of Lisbon.

“Although the future shape of the EU is an obsession in Europe, very few in the United States pay any attention to it. Europe is consumed with Ireland’s recent referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon, but European integration is a nonissue in the American presidential campaign. These two attitudes are unfortunate for both sides of the Atlantic: pro-EU leaders in Europe are pushing headlong into nondemocratic – perhaps even antidemocratic – territory, and Americans are missing a very real threat to the transatlantic alliance.

I was in Dublin just a few days before the Irish referendum. To a U.S. observer, it seemed hard to believe that the result could have been anything other than a resounding ‘yes’ to the Treaty of Lisbon. Ireland’s entire political establishment supported it, including all but one of the major political parties; advertising in favor of a ‘yes’ vote far exceeded expenditures for the ‘no’ side; and media coverage stressed the shame and embarrassment that would come Ireland’s way if it rejected Lisbon.”

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