Ireland questions EU course
More on Brian Cowen's speech. He told other leaders that there was no strong suggestion that the Irish people were less committed to the EU now than in the past, and there was no serious calling into question of the benefits of membership.
He rejects the idea that the treaty was rejected because it was too complex to understand. But he has a long list of "genuinely felt" anxieties, which he labels concerns about the EU's future direction and potential future direction. They are:
- World trade talks.
- Suggestions of tax harmonisation.
- Loss of a commissioner.
- Change in Ireland's voting strength.
- Lack of democratic accountability of the EU high representative and president of the council.
- Possible European Court of Justice rulings on areas like abortion and euthanasia.
- Insufficient workers' rights.
- Defence policy.
That's eight concerns. We won't know for some time how, or indeed if, he intends to address these concerns.