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Voters Say No to Treaty — Why Does Ireland Hate Europe?

Ireland, the only country to put the vote to the people and not the parliament, rejected the European Union's Lisbon Treaty, which would have greatly reformed the 27-member body. The 53.4 percent rejection dashed hopes of universal ratification, necessary to adopt the treaty that provides for the EU's first full-time president and a foreign policy chief.

So why did Ireland say no? Small countries, like Ireland fear that a remote body with too much power could dilute their own voice and ability to steer their country. The "No" campaign also invoked Irish traditions like neutrality and opposition to abortion, which could be threatened by reduced sovereignty.

Ireland's population, which has greatly benefited from the EU, makes up only 1 percent of the union. Europe now must decide how to move on, although most European leaders urge remaining countries to continue with their ratification exercises.

Would you like to see a world that protects the status quo of nation-states? Or do you think globalization is pushing us toward less borders, starting with a more integrated Europe?


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