Fianna Fáil has today proposed the establishment of a special committee of the Oireachtas to examine all aspects of the proposed inter-governmental treaty on stronger fiscal rules for EU members that may affect Ireland.  The idea was put forward during a Dáil debate today on the conclusions of the European Council Summit in Brussels.   

Speaking after the debate, Timmy Dooley TD said: “A full and detailed treaty will not be available until March however a draft text of what is being proposed may be available in the next couple of weeks.  In light of that I believe it is only right and appropriate that members of the Oireachtas would have the opportunity in the interim to tease out the issues likely to impact on Ireland.   

“I am baffled by the response of the Taoiseach and Tánaiste in the Dáil this afternoon.  The Taoiseach and Minister Gilmore dismissed the idea outright without debate or any meaningful discussion.   

“If there is to be a referendum, the public will rightly expect the greatest possible debate.  The previous Government established an Oireachtas Sub Committee on Ireland’s Future in Europe, under the Chairmanship of Paschal Donohue TD, for this very purpose.  This committee carried out very important work and highlighted many issues that Ireland should seek to have addressed in the context of EU negotiations following the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in 2008.   

“Fianna Fáil has been making the point for many months that by focussing on fiscal controls rather than debt, the EU is failing to address the crisis at hand and may actually be making the situation worse.  Ireland needs to have important discussions at EU level on the new fiscal rules that are being proposed.  However informed debate on the specific issues and their potential impact on Ireland should be facilitated at a special Oireachtas Committee and Fianna Fáil is calling on the Government to consider the proposal.”