Bruce Arnold

Critic of Public Affairs, writing about art, theatre, music and politics

It is Europe that is confused about treaty -- not the Irish

It is Europe that is in confusion about Ireland’s referendum decision on the Lisbon Treaty. The EU does not know how to proceed. For this reason it is putting an entirely undemocratic obligation on the Irish people to think again. The Irish people will not think again, but this reality is taking time to sink in. It seems to be taking more time with Nicolas Sarkozy than with others, an indication of the odd and eccentric way in which the European system of governance works, transferring enormous power and authority to a man who is ill-informed about the circumstances that prevail in other countries in the European Union, and therefore seeks to apply the judgments and protocols of his own nation, from which he has sprung, for a brief six months, into the additional limelight of Europe’s presidency.