To the surprise of the Irish government and the other EU member states Irish voters "rejected the Treaty of Nice in June 2001. The turnout itself was low (34%), partly a result of the failure of the major Irish political parties to mount a strong campaign on the issue, presuming that the Irish electorate would pass the Treaty as all previous such Treaties had been passed by big majorities. However many Irish voters were critical of the Treaty contents, believing that it marginalised smaller states. Others questioned the impact of the Treaty on "Irish neutrality. Other sections viewed the leadership of the Union as out of touch and arrogant, with the Treaty offering a perceived chance to 'shock' the European leadership into a greater willingness to listen to its critics. (A similar argument was made when "Denmark initially "voted down the "Treaty of Maastricht.)
The Irish government, having obtained the "Seville Declaration on Ireland's policy of military neutrality from the European Council, decided to have "another referendum on the Treaty of Nice on Saturday, 19 October 2002. Two significant qualifications were included in the second proposed amendment, one requiring the consent of the "Dáil for "enhanced cooperation under the treaty, and another preventing Ireland from joining any EU common defence policy. A 'Yes' vote was urged by a massive campaign by the main parties and by civil society and the social partners, including campaigning through canvassing and all forms of media by respected "pro-European figures like then "EP president "Pat Cox, former "Czech president "Václav Havel, former "President of Ireland "Patrick Hillery and former "Taoiseach (prime minister) "Dr. Garret FitzGerald. Prominent civil society campaigns on the Yes side included "Fianna Fáil, "Fine Gael, the "Labour Party, the "Progressive Democrats, the "Irish Alliance for Europe led by Professor Brigid Laffan and Adrian Langan, and "Ireland for Europe led by Ciarán Toland. On the No Side, the principal campaigns were those of the "Green Party, "Sinn Féin, Anthony Coughlan's "National Platform, "Justin Barrett's No to Nice campaign, and Roger Cole's "Peace and Neutrality Alliance. The result was a 60% "Yes" vote on a near-50% turn-out.
By then all other EU member states had ratified the Treaty. Ratification by all parties was required by the end of the year, or else the Treaty would have expired.
Views of the treaty
Proponents of the Treaty claimed it was a utilitarian adjustment to cumbersome EU governing mechanisms and a required streamlining of the decision-making process, necessary to facilitate enlargement of the EU into Central and Eastern Europe. They claim, that consequently, the treaty was vitally important for the integration and future progress of these former "Eastern Bloc countries. Many people who were in favour of greater scope and power of the EU project, felt that it did not go far enough and that it would in any case be superseded by future treaties. Proponents differed in the extent to which enlargement may have proceeded without the Treaty, some claimed that the very future of the Union's growth—if not existence—was at stake, while others said that enlargement could have legally proceeded—albeit at a slower pace—without it.
Opponents of the Treaty claimed that it was a "technocratic" rather than "democratic" treaty, which would further diminish the sovereignty of national and regional parliaments, and would further concentrate power into a centralised and unaccountable bureaucracy. They also claimed that five applicant countries could have joined the EU without changing the EU's rules, and that others could have negotiated on an individual basis; something opponents to the treaty argued would have been to the applicants' advantage. They also claimed that the Treaty of Nice would create a two-tier EU, which might marginalise Ireland.["citation needed] Opponents pointed out that leading pro-treaty politicians had admitted if referendums had been held in countries other than Ireland, it would probably have been defeated there as well.
The Commission and the "European Parliament were disappointed that the Nice IGC did not adopt many of their proposals for reform of the institutional structure or introduction of new Community powers, such as the appointment of a European Public Prosecutor. The European Parliament threatened to pass a resolution against the Treaty; although it has no formal power of veto, the "Italian Parliament threatened that it would not ratify without the European Parliament's support. However, in the end this did not come to pass and the European Parliament approved the Treaty.
Many argue that the "pillar structure, which was maintained by the Treaty, is overcomplicated, that the separate Treaties should be merged into one Treaty, and that the three (now two) separate legal personalities of the Communities should be merged, and that the European Community and the European Union should be merged with the European Union being endowed with "legal personality. The German regions were also demanding a clearer separation of the powers of the Union from the Member States.
Nor did the Treaty of Nice deal with the question of the incorporation of the "Charter of Fundamental Rights into the Treaty; that was also left for the 2004 IGC after the opposition of the United Kingdom.
|" "Belgium||" "Denmark||" "Finland||" "France||" "Greece||" "Ireland||" "Italy||" "Luxembourg||" "Netherlands|
|" "Portugal||" "Spain||" "United Kingdom||" "Sweden||" "Germany||" "Austria|
EU evolution timeline
"Maastricht Treaty (TEU)
|Content||(founded WUDO)||(founded ECSC)||(protocol amending WUDO to become WEU)||(founded EEC and EURATOM)||(merging the legislative & administrative bodies of the 3 European communities)||(founded TREVI)||(amended: EURATOM, ECSC, EEC)+
|(amended: EURATOM, ECSC, and EEC to transform it into EC)+
|(amended: EURATOM, ECSC, EC to also contain Schengen, and TEU where PJCC replaced JHA)||(amended with focus on institutional changes: EURATOM, ECSC, EC and TEU)||(abolished the 3 pillars and WEU by amending: EURATOM, EC=>TFEU, and TEU)
(founded EU as an overall legal unit with "bill of rights, and reformed governance structures & decision procedures)
|"Three pillars of the European Union:|
(with a single Commission & Council)
|"European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)|
|"European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)||Treaty expired in 2002||"European Union (EU)|
|"European Economic Community (EEC)||"European Community (EC)|
|"Terrorism, Radicalism, Extremism and Violence Internationally (TREVI)||"Justice and Home Affairs
|"Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC)|
|"European Political Cooperation (EPC)||"Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)|
|"Western Union Defence Organization (WUDO)||"Western European Union (WEU)|
|Treaty terminated in 2011|
||This article includes a "list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient "inline citations. (February 2008) ("Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- Laursen, Finn, ed. (2005). The Treaty of Nice: Actor Preferences, Bargaining And Institutional Choice. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 393. "ISBN "90-04-14820-5.
- Article 12 of the 2003 Act of Accession (OJ L 236, 23 September 2003, p. 33). The figures given in the Act of Accession were determined prior to the 2004 enlargement in a declaration attached to the Nice Treaty (OJ C 80, 10 March 2001, p 82).
- "EU voting row explained". British Broadcasting Corporation. 24 March 2004. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- Baldwin, Richard; Widgrén, Mika (February 2005). "The Impact of Turkey's Membership on EU Voting" (PDF). CEPS Policy Brief. Centre for European Policy Studies (62): 11.
- The relative weight is a measure of how many Council votes a country has related to its population. In this instance, the German weight is taken to be 1.00 and as a reference to all others.
- Sadurski, Wojciech (2010). "Adding a Bite to a Bark? A Story of Article 7, the EU Enlargement, and Jörg Haider". Sydney Law School , "University of Sydney. Retrieved 2015-10-28. line feed character in
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- Summary of the Treaty
- Consolidated version of the Treaties
- Landmark EU treaty comes into effect - BBC News article dated February 1, 2003
- History of the European Union - Treaty of Nice
- Analysis of the voting weighs before and after, with 3D visualisation
- Book about the Treaty of Nice (also as PDF)
- Treaty of Nice European NAvigator