Sarkozy Confronts Angry Irish Voters

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is currently acting in the role of president of the European Union, opened talk with Irish political leaders in an attempt to resolve differences over future directions of the EU. Ireland is the only EU member constitutionally required to submit treaties to a national vote and the Irish people rejected proposed changes in the European Union. Since changes in the EU require a unanimous vote, this rejection, in effect, blocked any action by other member states. Anti-treat activists in ireland insist the Lisbon Treaty is dead and the entire process must begin from ground zero. Patricia McKenna, head of an anti-treaty pressure group called the People’s Movement, said was of the core reasons for voting “no” was “the fact that people sense a lack of democratic accountability and control of power slipping away.”

Sarkozy was doing his job as acting president of the European Union in expressing concern about the “no” vote on the part of Ireland. “What was expected of the European President,” he asked reporters, “that I should stand by lifeless?” Perhaps, the problem of the EU is the existence of a requirement that each member state must agree to every change. This is hardly a process ensuring moving forward. If nations come together in a union, there must be a process by which the majority are able to act without every single vote. If not, there will be inaction.