Bonde’s Briefing 16.04.2008
In this edition of Bonde’s Briefing you can read about the referendum in Ireland and the different meetings there. You can also read about the 60 years birthday/ farewell reception and about next weeks plenary in Strasbourg
On tour in Ireland
Chancellor Merkel visited Ireland Monday. Commission President Barroso will speak in the National Forum in Dublin Thursday 17 April. Barroso will also lecture in Cork in the south of Ireland this Friday 18 April.
Accidentally, I am in Cork the same day with my Irish colleague, Kathy Sinnott. So maybe I will find time to listen to my good friend in the top of the Commission.
The Commission have no role in the ratification process. But I certainly endorse that he lectures at the National Forum and at the university and explain his policies and why the Commission has promised to hide unpopular proposals on taxes and health until after the Irish referendum…
I will give lectures on the Lisbon Treaty and the hidden proposals in Kerry on Thursday and in Fermoy on Friday. I do not urge the Irish to vote No when I am in Ireland. I only explain the treaties as they have been developed since the two constitutional conventions I attended.
I explain the many areas where there is no clarity in the treaties as well. I advise on how to establish legally binding protocols in sensitive areas as taxes, salary dumping, abortion etc.
But I still do not campaign for a No. Not because I do not want this result. But simply because I think a referendum shall be decided by the voters in the voting country without voting advice from abroad.
Information, yes. But no campaigning from abroad. That is my balance. I succeeded in sticking to this route when I took part in the Irish referendum on the Nice Treaty – and its re-run when the result did not satisfy the European elite.
An actual question for Barroso: Will the Commission respect the Irish referendum and stop implementing the Lisbon Treaty until the voters have spoken? And when they have spoken: Will the Commission respect a possible No vote?
The European Parliament decided not to respect the Irish referendun, with 129 in favour and 499 against…
Reception 7 May
I am now 60 years young and leave the European Parliament as a member 9 May – in 3 weeks! My group has decided to celebrate the birthday with a farewell party, Wednesday 7 May when the European Parliament meets for a so-called mini-session in Brussels.
I will make my final speech in the plenary just before the EU birthday 9 May. What will be my hopes, criticism, wishes? I will prepare the speech carefully after 29 years in the European Parliament.
I have learned some lessons with some messages for the future.
Next week in Strasbourg
This week is a so-called group week in Brussels. We prepare for the April session in Strasbourg starting on Monday. Here is the agenda as it looks before the meeting in the Conference of Presidents Thursday.