Future of the EU- economic/integration

Irish No vote requires rethink

Expressing her regret that Irish voters have apparently by a majority voted 'no' in their referendum on the Lisbon treaty London Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford has called for a much intensified effort to explain the EU and how it must and can adapt to deal with important challenges that affect people's lives.

Sarah Ludford said:

"It is a shame that untrue scare-mongering about pan-European armies and threats to national abortion laws have led around 1 million Irish voters to scupper the Treaty of Lisbon which would usher in a more effective democratic and capable EU to benefit Europe's 500 million citizens."

Why we must remain inside the EU

27 Jun 2003 : Column 571

Baroness Ludford: My Lords I am glad to be able to take part in the debate. I recognise the sincerity of the beliefs expressed by the noble Lord Lord Pearson. The trouble is that he is wrong. I am most grateful to the noble Lord for giving a website address. My only disappointment is that I believed that he was going to give us www.corruptoctopusofbrussels.org which would have been rather fun.

I am really quite surprised that Conservative speakers are opposing the new draft constitution of the EU. After all it does have a clause permitting voluntary exit.

Supporting EU enlargement

Sarah Ludford MEP has helped in the campaign for a "yes" vote in the referendum on joining the EU taking place in Hungary on Saturday 12th April.

The European Parliament voted on 8th April by an overwhelming majority to approve the accession of all 10 states which have completed negotiations.

The signing ceremony of the accession treaty will be on 16th April in Athens and they are due to join subject to ratification by the parliaments of the 15 current Member States on 1st May 2004 in time for the June European elections.

All talk and no Action

It's time EU justice and interior ministers reached more decisions on important matters instead of procrastinating or wasting time on minor initiatives.

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP Liberal group justice spokeswoman said:

"The Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting this week has a long agenda of some 20 items. But sometimes it seems as if ministers' fondness for lengthy debate outweighs their ambition to actually make progress on common measures for asylum immigration or crime-fighting. They should disprove their growing reputation for 'all talk and no action'."

Future of the EU

Early this afternoon the President felt she needed to cut short and postpone the opportunity for Members to raise this matter. She felt she had to prioritise the debate on the future of Europe. But the future of Europe will be nothing if our people do not support us. This case is a perfect example of the impact on individuals of the quality or otherwise of European integration.

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