EU and the Nice Treaty: Takeover by the Anti-Christ?

According to some translations of Biblical prophecy the Anti-Christ will be the head of a new multi-nation “Roman Empire”.

The Nice Treaty is an expansion of the Eurpoean Union, and if ratified would help bring the EU closer to a European government.

I was wondering if there were any Eurodopers out there that know whether or not this is an issue in the debate over EU, or is it just us over-zealous American Bible thumpers that get worked up over this kind of shit?

I mean, Tony Blair, Son of the Devil? Somehow I don’t buy it!;j

I certainly hope so. I’m tired of waiting around.



Hadn’t I been saying you were just a big softie, manhattan? And here you are, a marshmallow man. :wink:

Thursday 7th June here in Ireland (yesterday) we had a referendum on the Nice Treaty. If we passed it all EU contries continue with it. If we don’t pass it then it’s back to the drawing board for everyone.

The result = Yes - 46% No - 54%

So it’s back to the discussion table to see what can be done. The reason for us voting no (I voted yes) was voter apathy, a poor Yes campaign, people did not like Ireland being part of any European Reactionary Force as we’re neutral, increased interference with out economy by Brussels (we were given a reprimand for our tax policies earlier this year. We’ve the one of the strongest economies in Europe though. 10% growth last year…predicting 7% this year) and a ton of other stuff like that.

But you’re never going to get the Treaty you want. You have to give up some things and gain others. And as for closer harmonisation within Europe…no-one can leave the EU so it’s either remain as it is or go forward and hopefully make it better. But no-one knows how things will turn out. You can’t guess.

AS for a european super state, i don’t think it will happen. Some people in power may want it but it will always be the whole of the people who decide what happens, especcially here in Ireland where we will have referendi (that right?) on the subject. And if yesterdays vote is anything to go by we will be holding back until we know we’re getting something good for everyone.

I would have thought the fundies would have latched onto the Treaty of Rome, by which the EEC, as it then was, was established, rather than the Treaty of Nice as the new Roman Empire mentioned in Revelations.

The Treaty of Nice does not really “help bring the EU closer to a European government”. It is concerned primarily with enlargement and some “constitutional” issues related to that.

All in all, I’d say that this sounds like a curiously American brand of religious paranoia. The only time I ever recall anybody in Europe coming up with anything like this, it was Ian Paisley, which tells you all you need to know about the credibility of the idea.

Presumably the fact that the admission of a whole lot of poor, former Eastern Bloc countries with a high proportion of their population employed in agriculture would threaten Ireland’s status as a net gainer in the EU subsidy regime had nothing to do with it?

Good point, TomH. The EU is a shaky bond at best, and IMHO, will only weaken with the addition of even MORE states. That may be an issue in twenty years, when we’re all using the Euro (please don’t kill me, Limeys ;)), the internal market has found an equilibrium, tax laws are harmonised, all that stuff. And since we’re not able to do even THAT at this stage, bringing in even more nations would make a joke out of the entire EU.

Bible prophecies? Dude, we already HAVE the AntiChrist. His name is Jospin. :smiley:

The Irish people did not vote no because they feared an enlarged europe that would see them get less. We have had a great time with the EU. We would nopt be in the position we are no without them and I know that the people want to see other countries get the chance we had within the EU. BUt there are other issues too. It’s not just about enlargment. The Treaty of Amsterdam paves the way for 5 new members so the Nice Treaty was not primarily about that. It was about majority voting, a new voting structure, more harmonisation, and the introduction of a European Rapid Reactionary Force which may work with NATO. Ireland is neutral and many people did not want to see us associated with NATA in any way shape or form. All my other arguments I made in my last post so I won’t go over them again but don’t say Ireland voted no because we were trying to stop more countries joining because that is not the case.

EU … ?

EUtychus …

Could it be?

I accept that you personally support the Treaty, but I think you’re being over-genorous to your no-voting compatriots.

With the exception of the Rapid Reaction Force, all these issues – QMV, enhanced co-operation, the size of the Commission, etc – are necessary to facilitate enlargement. We cannot have an enlarged Union with the present constitutional arrangements, and a “no” to Nice is essentially a “no” to enlargement. I cannot imagine that the average Irish voter was not aware of this. David O’Sullivan himself said that he thought Irish voters had shown themselves to be reluctant to share the benefits of the EU with other countries.

Nor is it true to say, as Sinn Fein and others who oppose it have done, that the Treaty paves the way for the Rapid Reaction Force. Provision for the RRF was made in the Treaty of Amsterdam, and the Treaty of Nice makes only minor adjustments. The Republic of Ireland has already committed 850 troops to the operation, on the condition that they are only deployed in missions which have been approved by the Oireachtas.

As for increased interference in your economy by Brussels, you got that when you joined the Euro.

Everything that the Irish opponents of the Nice Treaty claim to object to is already a done deal. The no vote will not prevent Irish involvement in the RRF, EU interference in the Irish economy or the further centralisation of power in Brussels. It will prevent, or more likely delay, the next round of enlargement which, coupled with the buoyant economy, will result in Ireland becoming one of the better-off rather than worse-off countries.

Who whom?

I heard nothing from the No voters I know - which is most of the people I know who voted - to suggest that they oppose enlargement per se. Preserving Ireland’s neutrality was a very big issue as was the feeling that the Treaty would create a two-tiered EU with Ireland in the bottom tier. Whether they were right or wrong to think so doesn’t really matter as much as the fact that they did think so and that was their motivation, not opposition to letting in Eastern Bloc countries.

I should probably point out that most of my friends here are Shinners.

Every single “No” argument I read included a phrase to the effect of "enlargement can be achieved without … " so no, I don’t think the average Irish voter did see it that way.

I just don’t accept the argument that further enlargement is possible without constitutional reform. The whole point of the IGC 2000 and the Nice Summit was to work out arrangements which would enable the institutions of an enlarged Union to function effectively. Anybody who suggests that substantial further accession is possible without the Nice reforms is effectively advocating a 35-member Commission and the use of the unanimity rule for all kinds of trivia with 27 Member States; as well as all kinds of other nonsense.

I understand that this was the ostensible reason given by many in the No campaign. But the RRF was established by the Treaty of Amsterdam and Ireland is already committed to it, so voting against the Treaty of Nice – which, although it makes some minor provisions about CFSP, is primarily concerned with accession – is little more than an empty protest.

The idea behind enhanced co-operation is that it allows for the development of multiple, overlapping tiers, with each Member State deciding which tier it wants to be in for which purposes (e.g. in or out of Schengen, in or out of the euro). I can’t see anything to suggest that Ireland would be in the bottom tier, or even that the concept of a “bottom tier” would have any real meaning.

OK, I’m prepared to believe that the majority of the Irish electorate voted against the Treaty because they believed all those things; I’ve just had a look at Sinn Fein’s referendum manifesto and it’s clearly advocating a No vote not because of what’s in the Treaty itself but because of a nebulous disgruntlement with the whole EU (most of it, incidentally, could have come from a British Tory Eurosceptic). But I think that if they did believe those things, they were seriously mistaken.

Whether the motive is more important than the consequences is another question, but I’m not sure I agree that it is.

FWIW, I don’t think the British electorate would have behaved any differently if we had been required to ratify the Treaty.