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Lisbon Treaty Creates Obstacles
to tackling Future Global Economic Crises.
The EU response's to the
current global economic crisis has been criticise by many for being
extremely weak. While the European Central Bank has poured billions
into the banking system, it has only promoted the most minimalist stimulus
package. Read more
The Lisbon Treaty will, however,
create even more difficulties in developing a coherent response to an
The origins of the Lisbon Treaty
co-incited with neo-liberal economics where it was assumed that de-regulated
markets and full freedom for finance would lead to greater market efficiency.
The Wall Street Crash of 2006 shattered these assumptions but they still
appear in an undigested form in the Lisbon Treaty,.
The section of the Treaty on Capital
and Payments clearly illustrates this.
Article 56 states, ' all restrictions
on the movement of capital between Member States and between Member
States and third countries shall be prohibited'.
The most recent Wall Street crash
was triggered by the spread of speculative financial instruments across
the world. Even after the crash, there are currently estimated to be
8,400 hedge funds which have an asset base of $1.34 trillion. These
funds - and the speculative activities of banks and shadow banking
systems - can cause immense economic damage.
Yet the Lisbon Treaty rules out
all restrictions on their movements between the EU and Third countries.
Article 57 of the Lisbon
Treaty contains a lock in clause which makes it extremely difficult
for the EU to row back from these neo-liberal measures.
It states, that
'only the Council, acting in
accordance with special legislative procedure, may unanimously, and
after consulting the European parliament, adopt measures which constitute
a step backwards in Union law as regards the liberalisation of capital
to or from third countries.'
The requirement for anonymity
means just one right wing government can hold up measures deigned to
control the activities of speculative finance. This is in sharp contrast
to the shift to qualified voting in EU Commercial policy where corporate
elites want grater freedom to negotiate deals on public services at
the World Trade Organisation.
Voting No to Lisbon is therefore
a means by which policy options can be kept more open in Europe
in a new and uncertain world.