Making sense of the Treaty of Lisbon

Athlone Chamber to host information evening with speakers in favour of and against the Lisbon Treaty

The Lisbon Treaty bill has been published and the Lisbon II referendum is set for Friday October 2. To start the debate in Athlone, the chamber has organised an information evening on Wednesday August 26 at 6pm in the Radisson Hotel in Athlone, with expert speakers to talk from their differing perspectives on the Lisbon agenda.

“The event will run from 6pm to 7pm and will not eat into people’s family time. It will be brief but hugely informative and we encourage people to come along and listen to the two eminent speakers who have considerable experience in the European agenda,” said Aengus O’Rourke, president of Athlone Chamber of Commerce. “The board of the chamber believes that it is important that people inform themselves before voting in the upcoming referendum,” outlined Mr O’Rourke “and consider it our obligation to provide quality information for businesses. We have turned our successful business after hours event into a focus on Lisbon II and have lined up two erudite speakers from different perspectives to start the debate in Athlone.”

The two speakers will talk for 15 to 20 minutes and then there will be a short time for questions. Anthony Coughlan is advocating a no vote in the Lisbon II referendum. He is an economist and senior lecturer emeritus in Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin. He is director of the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, has written widely on all aspects of the EU over years and was responsible, along with his economist colleague the late Raymond Crotty, for the 1987 Crotty case before the Supreme Court from which successive Irish referendums on EU/EC Treaties have sprung.

On the yes side of the debate is Professor Brigid Laffan, who is chairperson of Ireland for Europe, the people’s campaign advocating a yes vote in the refenderum on the Lisbon Treaty. She took office as the principal of the College of Human Sciences, UCD in September 2004. In 1991 Professor Laffan was appointed as Jean Monnet professor of European Politics in the Department of Politics, UCD. She was the founding director of the Dublin European Institute UCD in 1999. She is a member of the Research Council of the European University (EUI ) Florence, the National Economic and Social Council (NESC ), and the Irish Government’s High Level Asia Strategy Group.

For further information contact Siobhan Bigley on (090 ) 6498838 or email [email protected]

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