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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Why did AKEL vote against the Lisbon Treaty ]

Why did AKEL vote against the Lisbon Treaty

RULING party AKEL, with the exception of the Green Party’s abstention, was the only party to vote against the Lisbon Treaty’s ratification.

The basic reason behind AKEL’s rejection of the Treaty was the fact that the people of Europe had no input in its formation; instead, it maintained it was the result of a decision made by the member states’ political leaders and diplomats.

“A Eurobarometer study showed that 80 per cent of the people of Europe wanted a public debate on the reformation of the new text,” said party spokesman Andros Kyprianou in his speech. “Despite this, the people’s voice wasn’t heard.”

Following the rejection of the proposed European Constitution by the French and the Dutch, Europe returned with the Reformed (Lisbon) Treaty.

Kyprianou maintained that the changes made were superficial, with the Reformed Treaty keeping 95 per cent of the original text unchanged.

“[German Chancellor] Angela Merkel made it clear that the essence of the European Constitution remained,” he pointed out. “The superficial changes that were made, lead to one objective fact: that not only were the European citizens adhered, but they were excluded from the discussion over the European Union’s future.”

Many, said Kyprianou, linked the Irish public’s rejection of the Treaty to the fact that they were not sufficiently informed about it it. But this was due to the exclusion of the people in the decision making and insufficient information, he pointed out.

The Reformed Treaty states that the institution of the commissioner will remain as it is until 2014, when their number will be equal to two thirds of the member states. According to the Treaty, they will be chosen in a way that would reserve the equal treatment of member states. “However, practically, the big member states will maintain powerful interventions in the decision-making centres, while the small states will suffer from this loss.”

AKEL maintains that the Treaty’s provisions for a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) contradict European values, committing all 27 member states to the “strategic expansionist aspirations” of the US and NATO – a member of which is Turkey. “Peace, security, stability and the welfare of European countries do not appear to outweigh the intention to identify goals and aims with the United States and NATO,” said Kyprianou. “Unfortunately NATO’s intention to use Europe to promote its own intentions is being legalised with the Common Foreign and Security Policy.”

In the frame of the CFSP, Kyprianou also expressed AKEL’s refusal to consent to Cyprus’s participation in “common disarmament actions, humanitarian missions, conflict prevention missions and missions to restore peace”, which the Treaty says will contribute to the fight against terrorism. “The ‘prevention of terrorism’ – an invention of the New Order of Things, was transformed into an excuse for wars that violated and continue to violate until today the international judicial system and the United Nations Charter,” said Kyprianou.

AKEL also supported that human rights and political freedom do not maintain the position they should in the Treaty. “While the entire text of the Charter of Fundamental Rights was included in the European Constitution, in the Reformed Treaty, the Charter was adopted with changes and exceptions,” Kyprianou explained. The handling of issues concerning human rights, he added, reveal the priorities that are being set by the European Union. “In contrast to the exhaustive references that are made to the economy, society and common foreign defence and security policy, the texts that have to do with human rights are not given the appropriate significance, not without reason. It is directly connected, among others, with the policies that provide the curtailment of human rights with the pretext of ‘combating terrorism’”.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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