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international | eu | feature Thursday December 11, 2003 09:50 by Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Ireland
Voices of Dissent emerge as the Irish EU Presidency Approaches
The concept of the EU is still a popular one in Ireland as is shown by the detail of the results of a recent poll on the EU. It is a far less popular concept generally in Europe as is shown by the headline results of the self-same poll. This bodes ill for the ongoing negotiations on a draft EU constitution taking place at present in Italy.
The broad popular movement represented by the European Social Forum has advocated a Europe wide civil society rejection of the way in which Neo-Liberalism is consecrated as an official doctrine in the proposed Constitution as it now stands. The Declaration of the Assembly of Social Movements has instead called for a Europe 'based on the recognition of social, economic, cultural and ecological rights'.
Ireland will hold the Presidency of the EU in the buildup to the planned ratification of an EU Constitution in May 2004 and it seems inevitable that Ireland will become a battleground for these opposing conceptions of what Europe is and should be.
Domestic critics of the proposed EU Constitution on both the right (National Platform) and left (Democracy and Public Services in Europe Group) have begun to make their voices heard and it seems that the battle of ideas that raged during the Nice Treaty II debate will most likely be joined again at some point next year when a referendum on the new Constitution is held in Ireland. Watch this space!