Éamon Ryan TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, stated recently that he was in favour of the Green Party supporting the “Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe” or what will be called the “Reform Treaty.”
Ryan has long been a “Europhile,” but the Green Party in the past played an important role in defending Irish democracy and military neutrality in the many referendums relating to the construction of very centralised institutions and the deepening integration process that previous treaties facilitated.
The price of governmental office is now being paid by the Greens. Fianna Fáil has succeeded in silencing one of the most vocal critics of the European Union and the policies emanating from it. John Gormley TD, the newly elected leader of the Green Party, was one of the authors of a minority report that is critical of the EU constitution and exposes the machinations of the pro-constitution forces during and after the convention that drafted the proposed constitution.
It is clear from the reaction of some prominent members of the Green Party, such as Patrica McKenna, a former member of the European Parliament, that over the coming months there will be a serious struggle within that party over support or opposition to the repackaged constitution, which will be put to the people in a referendum early next year.
Joining the Government has lost the Green Party a lot of credibility among its supporters. With its TDs now throwing in their lot with the Government–supporting the militarisation of the European Union, the revived EU constitution and its reinforcement of neo-liberalism, and the centralisation of power–more and more of the Green Party’s members and supporters will be drifting away, with many joining the campaign for a “no” vote.
[First published in Socialist Voice]
Monthly publication of the Communist Party of Ireland,