Nationalism is alive and well
Referendums in France and the Netherlands killed the European constitution in 2005. Not willing to risk defeat of its warmed-over Lisbon successor, French and Dutch politicians are leaving ratification to national legislatures. And it's commonly accepted that had the U.K. given Britons the opportunity to vote on any of these, they would have roundly said no.
Put simply, Europeans don't want to be part of a United States of Europe.
All 27 EU members must ratify the Lisbon Treaty for it to be adopted. Therefore, Ireland's rejection should kill it.
The goal of the Lisbon Treaty is to improve the operating efficiency of the EU. It calls for a semi-permanent, unelected presidency to replace the current system in which individual governments head the union on a six-month rotating basis. The treaty also includes an expanded foreign-policy and defense apparatus, and calls for more decisions to be made by weighted- majority vote, instead of the requirement for unanimity that generally prevails.
Europe's leaders have only themselves to blame for the political logjam. The Lisbon Treaty is a dense 277-page document of legal gobbledygook. No ``sane person'' would read it, Charlie McCreevy, Ireland's current EU commissioner, said in late May.