‘Knowledge deficit’ sank Lisbon treaty in Ireland
The government of Ireland is expected next month to tell Brussels that it wil be impossible to hold another referendum on the Lisbon reform treaty before the European elections next June, meaning that the elections could not take place under the new Lisbon Treaty framework. At the same time, the government today released its official findings on why the Irish rejected the treaty, finding that the vast majority said they voted no either because they didn't udnerstand the treaty or they thought it would do things that it actualy won't.
orty two per cent of those who voted “no” gave lack of information or understanding as their reason, according to the poll carried out by Millward Brown IMS in the last week of July. Thirty three per cent thought that the introduction of conscription into a pan-European army was part of the Lisbon treaty, while 34 per cent believed that it would strip Ireland of its control over abortion policy.
“An EU knowledge deficit is clearly present which has undoubtedly contributed to the ‘no’ vote,” according to the poll and focus group research. “Knowledge of EU institutions and how they work appears to be particularly low. The difficulty of advocating a referendum that is based on the premise of institutional reform in this environment is apparent.”
The results of the poll had been predicted in advance, with most commentators saying that it merely confirmed what was already known.