Irish Government launches campaign to win Nice Treaty referendum

The Irish Government has launched a public Information Guide on the Treaty of Nice, which is to be distributed to every household in Ireland during the coming week, in a bid to win the second referendum on the Treaty.

The Irish Parliament is meeting this and next week to debate the legislation allowing for the second referendum. The Irish Government expects the date for the referendum on the Nice Treaty to be announced within the next few weeks.

Ireland’s Prime Minister Bertie Ahern urged voters to say “yes” in a second referendum in order to pave the way for the EU enlargement of 10 new members in 2004. He warned that a second “no” could cost Ireland “new business, new jobs and new growth”.

The Enlargement Commissioner, Günter Verheugen, has called on Ireland to hold its second referendum before the 24-25 October Summit of EU leaders, so that decisions concerning the first wave of enlargement can be taken at the Summit.

 

Irish voters rejected the Nice Treaty in a June 2001 referendum with 54 per cent of the vote. A second referendum on the Treaty is planned for the end of October or beginning of November 2002. The Treaty includes institutional and decision-making reforms that represent a legal basis for EU enlargement.

 

A second referendum is widely expected in October.

 

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