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EUROPEAN REFERENDUM INITIATIVE

Press Release – October 14, 2008

European Consumer Organizations and Political Parties demand that EU Heads of State Summit accepts outcome of Irish referendum

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An alliance of seven non-governmental organizations and political parties, collectively representing citizens from all 27 European Union (EU) countries, is demanding that tomorrow’s EU Heads of State Summit accepts the outcome of the recent Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Expressing their deep concern over reports that the EU is planning to ignore the Irish “no” vote and press ahead with massive spending increases to implement the treaty’s provisions, they argue that “no” should mean “no.” Unless the treaty is abandoned and the interests of the European Union’s citizens come before those of multinational corporations, they say that public trust in the European Union and its institutions will be irreparably undermined.

Dr. Robert Verkerk, Executive and Scientific Director of the Alliance for Natural Health, said: “The French, Dutch and Irish people—against the wishes of their governments—have rejected a creep towards a more totalitarian system—one that earlier generations fought by going to war. They said “no” to increasing control by an unelected, institutional EU government on key issues like health, food and agriculture. Most of us want democratic European governments that are answerable to the people, not one that takes its cues from an oligopoly comprised of the world's largest corporations. People are not prepared to accept a system that rides roughshod over the needs of individuals, local communities and small businesses.”  

Kathy Sinnott, Member of the European Parliament for Ireland South, commented: "Only in one Member State did the people have a say about the Lisbon Treaty- Ireland. In saying No, I believe the Irish people expressed a deep felt sense that they were losing a significant measure of democratic control over areas of their lives that are important to them, like health. I believe that had other Member States allowed their people to vote, they would have similarly rejected the Lisbon Treaty and the greater control that it gave to an unelected Commission. I would like to see Europe succeed but it will not succeed unless it is a Europe of the people, by the people and for the people. For the sake of a European future, I call on Europe and its leaders to respect the Irish No vote and the will of the people it represents."

Scott Tips, President and General Legal Counsel for the National Health Federation, added: "The Treaty and proposed Constitution - as quite properly rejected by the Irish people - would create an even-more intrusive European Superstate that will crush human freedom and spirit.  Should the EU's Heads of State decide to disregard this lawful rejection of the Treaty and Constitution, then British Foreign Secretary Sir Edmund Grey's comments shall be even truer in 2008 than they were in 1914: 'The lights are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.'"

Paul Anthony Taylor, External Relations Director of the Dr. Rath Health Foundation and the campaign's coordinator, agreed, saying: “This treaty’s contents have now effectively been rejected three times: first by the French and the Dutch, in 2005, and now by the Irish. As such, unless the Heads of State finally face up to the fact that their citizens want Europe to be designed in the interests of its people, rather than of its multinational corporations, public confidence in the European project, and its leaders, will be permanently damaged. ‘No’ means ‘No’, and it’s time that Europe’s leaders recognized this.”

La Leva di Archimede is in favour of a Europe for the people where the voice of citizens counts. Naturally, this means that the voice of the Irish people, expressed in a referendum, should be listened to. “Had other nations held a similar referendum,” says Sepp Hasslberger, La Leva’s president, “I am sure the Irish would not be alone in having said ‘no’ to the treaty. The Dutch and the French and several others would have joined them in a ‘no’ vote. Will Heads of State deepen the democratic deficit of Europe, or will we finally see a new democratic trend?”

Louise McLean, Editor of Zeus Information Service, stated: "One of the most worrying things about membership of the European Union is its draconian legislation restricting the use of natural health therapies and supplements.  These kinds of laws make people feel that the EU Superstate is undemocratic.  We should have the right to choose and we do not want to be forced into taking dangerous pharmaceutical medicine.  The State does not own our bodies.  People in Ireland, France and the Netherlands are getting increasingly frustrated that their votes are not being accepted. A 'No' vote must mean No!"  

Henk Bosveld, spokesman for the Party for People and Spirit, said: “The Party for People and Spirit considers the structure of the present European government to be insufficiently democratic. The aim of the European government should be to become a partner of the citizen instead of a topdown thinking authority. The three “no” votes have made it very clear that citizens now have no confidence in the way Europe is governed. We demand a referendum in every country of the E.U. concerning every significant change that affects the citizens of Europe!”

The seven organizations are campaigning for citizens to have the right to vote in referendums whenever significant changes to laws affecting them are made at either national or European level. Their campaign, the European Referendum Initiative, is being backed by the Alliance for Health, Peace and Social Justice; the Alliance for Natural Health; the Dr. Rath Health Foundation; La Leva di Archimede; the National Health Federation; the Party for People and Spirit; and Zeus Information Service.

Full details can be found at www.eu-referendum.org

CONTACTS

Alliance for Health, Peace and Social Justice

Allianz für Gesundheit, Frieden und soziale Gerechtigkeit
Bahnhofstr. 1/1a
D-12555
Berlin
Germany

Tel: +49 30 246479 200
Email: Info@Allianz-GFG.de
Website: http://www.agfg.de/

Alliance for Natural Health

Alliance for Natural Health
The Atrium
Curtis Road
Dorking
Surrey
RH4 1XA
UK

Tel: +44 1306 646550
Email: info@anhcampaign.org
Website: http://www.anhcampaign.org

Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Dr. Rath Health Foundation
Zurich Tower
Muzenstraat 89
2511 WB The Hague
Netherlands

Tel: +31 457 11 11 00
Email: info@dr-rath-foundation.org
Website: http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/

Kathy Sinnott MEP

"St. Josephs"
Ballinabearna
Ballinhaswsig
Co. Cork
Ireland

Tel: +353 21 4888793
Email: kathysinnott@iol.ie
Website: http://www.wmaker.net/KathySinnott/

La Leva di Archimede

La Leva di Archimede
Rampa Brancaleone 58
00165 Rome
Italy

Tel: +39 06 63 58 84
Email: archimede@laleva.cc
Website: http://www.laleva.org

National Health Federation

The National Health Federation
P.O. Box 688
Monrovia
California 91017
USA

Tel: +1 626 357 2181
Email: contact-us@thenhf.com
Website: http://www.thenhf.com/

Party for People and Spirit

Partij voor Mens en Spirit
Netherlands

Email: henkbosveld@kpnplanet.nl
Website: http://www.mensenspirit.nl

Zeus Information Service

Email: news@zeusinfoservice.com
Website: http://www.zeusinfoservice.com