“It’s the economy, stupid”: Changing Irish minds on the Lisbon Treaty
Ireland was Europeanised as part of a pragmatic top-down policy of modernisation. The national bargain with regional integration was built on soft Europeanism and rudimentary knowledge about the “ever closer union”. By the 21st century the virtuous Irish-EU narrative was weakening. Multiple domestic factors contributed. They included political fragmentation, affluence, and constitutional constrictions on the government’s conduct during referendum campaigns. Complacency, distraction, and an energetic single-issue party (Libertas) were some of the immediate causes of the defeat of Lisbon in 2008. The legitimacy of the first Lisbon referendum was undercut in an extended post-mortem that laid bare the electorate’s lack of knowledge. The negotiation of guarantees to ameliorate concerns about some national sacred cows and clarify misapprehensions played a crucial part in the approach to the second referendum. However, the Global Financial Crisis was paramount. It invigorated the conventional narrative that full EU membership was axiomatic to Ireland’s continued economic and fiscal health.
Ireland , Europeanism , European Union , EU membership , Lisbon Treaty
O'Driscoll, M. (2022) '“It’s the economy, stupid”: Changing Irish minds on the Lisbon Treaty', Journal of European Integration History, 28(1), pp.123-146. doi: 10.5771/0947-9511-2022-1-123
© 2023, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG. This is the accepted version of the following item: O'Driscoll, M. (2022) '“It’s the economy, stupid”: Changing Irish minds on the Lisbon Treaty', Journal of European Integration History, 28(1), pp.123-146. doi: 10.5771/0947-9511-2022-1-123 , which has been published in final form at: https://doi.org/10.5771/0947-9511-2022-1-123