Irlande : le référendum de la dernière chance

Une fois de plus, les Irlandais vont se prononcer par Oui ou par Non sur le traité de Nice. De quoi s'agit-il ? Le traité de Nice est l'un de ces compromis trop fréquents qui permettent de résoudre certains problèmes concrets tout en en laissant d'autres de coté. Ils sont généralement obtenus après une nuit de discussion laborieuse entre les chefs d'Etat ou de gouvernements de l'UE.

Le compromis qui a abouti au traité de Nice il y a quatre ans est important parce qu'il organise entre autres la répartition des pouvoirs et les modalités de vote au sein des institutions de l'UE. Or, celles-ci doivent être en place avant que l'Union n'intègre de nouveaux membres. L'élargissement est le sujet le plus important qui figure sur l'agenda européen et le traité de Nice joue à ce titre un rôle clé. Sans lui, les pays candidats ne pourront rejoindre l'Union en décembre prochain, comme la promesse en avait été faite il y a dix ans à Copenhague.

L'année dernière, les Irlandais ont rejeté le traité de Nice par référendum. Tout l'establishment du pays, à savoir le gouvernement, les grands partis politiques (opposition inclue), les syndicats et le patronat, s'était prononcé pour le Oui. Mais les partisans du Oui n'ont jamais réussi à expliquer clairement leur position. Finalement, une grande partie de l'électorat s'est désintéressée du problème. Le Non l'a emporté par 54 % des votes, mais seuls 35% des électeurs se sont déplacés.

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