This page will present information on the European Union's influence in various areas of Irish life.

EU in Crisis

The following presentation was made at the 'EU in Crisis' conference held in Dublin on 7-8 October 2011:

Frank Keoghan of the People's Movement speaking to the question 'Should Ireland stay in the euro?' The text of his paper is available here.

European Stability Mechanism

The second edition (June 2011) of a People's Movement report on the European Stability Mechanism which argues the case for an Irish referendum is now available for download here (3.6 MB).

Health service in crisis

Speakers at the Mullingar (top) and Newbridge meetings.

At public meetings organised by the People's Movement in Newbridge on 16 June and in Mullingar on 22 June, Marie O'Connor, journalist and author of Emergency: Irish hospitals in chaos, and Mary Crotty, member of the Movement's national executive, spoke on the crisis currently facing the health service from the domestic and European perspectives respectively. The texts of their contributions are available here (O'Connor) and here (Crotty).

The Health Care Directive

A proposed EU directive on the right of patients to access cross-border health care has the potential to significantly damage health care provision in Ireland. A People's Movement pamphlet on the subject can be downloaded here.

The EU and its global ambitions

Kevin McCorry, a member of the national committee of the People's Movement, recently addressed a public meeting at the Ireland Institute, Dublin, on the subject of the European Union and its global ambitions. A copy of the talk is now available for download here.


Submission on EU fisheries policy

The People's Movement has made a submission on the EU's Common Fisheries Policy as part of a review that is currently taking place. The submission is available here in PDF format.

Barroso refuses to rule out Brussels tax

Speaking in the European Parliament, Barroso was asked if he agreed with the bloc's incoming president, Van Rompuy, who is on record for proposing direct taxation.

'I intend to look at all issues of taxation in the EU, we have to look at all resources of the EU' Barroso said pointing out that tax proposals were the domain of his commission. 'We have promised it to the parliament, the programme with which I was elected was to look at possible "own resources" and this is in the programme that was adopted by this European Parliament.'

When setting out priorities for his second five-year term, the former Portuguese prime minister said Brussels cannot shirk the issue of 'own resources': 'we need to see how the EU can find a more efficient and transparent way of financing its policies'.

Negotiations on the next EU seven-year budget, set to come into force in 2014, are due to start in 2011. The EU is also launching a massive and expensive 'external action service', beefing up its diplomatic and foreign services with thousands more staff scattered across the globe. [25 November 2009]

Presidential candidate advocates EU tax

Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy, a top candidate for the unelected European Union president job, recently presented his views on EU financing at a dinner of the secretive Bilderberg group. The guests included Bilderberg chairman Etienne Davignon, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and luminaries from the worlds of international politics and business. Van Rompuy is reported to have said that: 'The possibilities of financial levies at European level must be seriously examined and for the first time the large countries in the union are open to that.'

Mr Van Rompuy's participation at the secret Bilderberg dinner will give ammunition to critics of the EU top job selection process, which takes place via secret consultations behind closed doors between EU leaders and at informal social events.

The Bilderberg group is an elite club of aristocrats, politicians and businessmen dating back to 1954, which likes to meet away from the public eye and which is widely believed to exert undue influence on government decisions. Among its prominent former members are Garret Fitzgerald and Peter Sutherland.

Increased majority against EU membership in Iceland

A new opinion poll shows that the majority in Iceland opposed to joining the EU continues to grow. According to the poll 54% of Icelanders now oppose membership while only 29% favour the step. This is the third poll in a row showing a majority against EU membership:

August 4: 'No' 48.5%, 'Yes' 34.7%.
September 15: 'No' 50.2%, 'Yes' 32.7%.
November 5: 'No' 54%, 'Yes' 29%.

For more information, see: EU News From Iceland.

Direct EU taxes proposed

A leaked document from the European Commission contains proposals that the EU budget should in future be funded through direct taxation, rather than by the present model under which member states' contributions are based on their Gross National Incomes (GNI).

You heard it first from us!

The document suggests that money for the EU budget should be raised through levies on phone calls, flights, financial transactions or carbon emissions - despite assurances given during the Lisbon Treaty referendum campaign that control of taxation would remain in the hands of the Irish government.

In his preface, Mr Barroso writes that the report 'presents the Commission's vision for the EU budget reform'. The current budget deal runs until 2013. Read the leaked document here.

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