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Yesterday the European Referendum Campaign together with the German organisation Mehr Demokratie e.V., the pan-European party the EUDemocrats and the Senate of the Czech Republic held a seminar in the Senate in Prague. The meeting specifically held for Czech parliamentarians, was attended by Czech senators various other interested organisations and the media.
The seminar focused on the democratic issues surrounding the EU and the Lisbon Treaty. Oxford University lecturer Christopher Bickerton declared that, “it is an exciting time in Europe at the moment. Traditional Euroscepticism is gone the fight now is against the anti-democratic elitist nature of the EU.”
One of the issues touched upon was bringing the people back into the political debate. David Heathcoat-Amory MP for the British Conservative Party commented that “It is the people who should decide the rules of the game, and the politicians play the game. This treaty is about setting new rules, therefore the people need to be involved.
Irish No campaigner and Chairperson of the People’s Movement Patricia McKenna told the Czech Senate that she hoped the Czech Republic would help Ireland by waiting to vote. She said “We are both small countries, but we can sometimes do big things”. Czech Senator Luděk Sefzig Chairman of the Senate Committee on EU Affairs added that he believed that the Czech Republic should wait for Ireland to say yes to the Lisbon Treaty before ratifying it in the Czech Republic. As the treaty cannot come into force until Ireland agrees to it. Plus Ireland would then not be put under an unfair amount of pressure.
Other speakers included Roman Huber Managing Director of Mehr Demokratie e.V. Jens-Peter Bonde President of the EUDemocrats and long time EU critic and Hans van Heijningen Sectary General of the Dutch Socialist Party.
© Democracy International www.democracy-international.org