Germany is 14th state to ratify Lisbon Treaty
The latest opinion poll shows the campaign for the Lisbon Referendum tightening as it heads for the final fortnight.
The Red C poll in tomorrow's Sunday Business Post shows the No side narrowing the gap on supporters of the Treaty.
41% of people questioned said they'd vote yes to the Lisbon Treaty, an increase of 3% since the last poll two weeks ago.
However, 33% said they'd vote no, an increase of 5%.
Germany has become the 14th EU state to approve the Lisbon Treaty.
The German President approved Germany's ratification of the treaty this morning, following votes in the two houses of parliament.
The ratification process is proceeding in the 13 other states. Ireland is the only state where a referendum is being held on ratification.
Meanwhile, the European Commission has said the treaty does allow states to veto complex trade agreements such as World Trade Organisation agreements.
The anti-Lisbon campaign group Libertas has said the treaty will abolish the Government's veto over international trade deals, and said the Government and the Commission have been misleading the people.
Sinn Fein has also claimed the Government will lose its veto over trade agreements under the Lisbon Treaty.
The Government has denied the claim, and insists it retains a veto right. Tonight the EC has published a detailed interpretation of the treaty provision on foreign trade which it says categorically proves that governments retain veto rights over trade deals.
Libertas chairman Declan Ganley says his organisation has received legal advice that the treaty does not allow governments to veto trade deals, but declined to show that legal advice to RTÉ News.
The Treaty of Lisbon (also known as the Reform Treaty) is a treaty that would alter how the European Union (EU) works through a series of amendments to the Treaty on European Union (TEU, Maastricht) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC, Rome), the latter being renamed Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in the process. The two consolidated treaties would form the legal basis of the Union, and combined constitute most of the content of the rejected European Constitution.
The most prominent innovations of the Treaty of Lisbon are arguably the scrapping of the pillar system, reduced chances of stalemate in the EU Council through more qualified majority voting, a more powerful European Parliament through extended codecision with the EU Council, as well as new tools for more coherent policies and continuity, such as a long-term President of the European Council and a High Representative for Foreign Affairs.
The Treaty was signed on 13 December 2007 in Lisbon (given Portugal held the EU Council's Presidency at the time), and is scheduled to be ratified in all twenty-seven Member States by the end of 2008, in time for the 2009 European elections. As of May 23, 2008, fourteen countries have finished ratification.
Due to a provision in its constitution Ireland is the only Member State set to hold a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon, in addition to a parliamentary vote. An opinion poll released 16 May showed 35% intending to vote 'yes', 18% to vote 'no', and 47% were undecided.
The government parties of Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrat are in favour of the treaty, but the other government party, the Green Party, is divided on the issue. The main opposition parties of Fine Gael and the Labour Party are in favour. The Sinn Féin opposition party is the only party represented in the Oireachtas that will campaign against the Lisbon Treaty.