"A year ago, in a televised address to the nation, Enda Kenny told us: “I want to be the Taoiseach that retrieves Ireland’s economic sovereignty”. He told an audience in Chicago in March 2012 that Ireland would regain its economic sovereignty by the end of this year. He told a Fine Gael conference last month that Ireland was on course to “retrieve our economic sovereignty and independence”.
That promise is an illusion. The Lisbon Treaty, for which Enda Kenny campaigned, copperfastens Ireland’s surrender of sovereignty to the EU forever, a surrender we sleepwalked into in 1992 in ratifying the Maastricht Treaty.
Ireland is obliged to avoid what is known as “excessive government deficits”, not just now but forever. In that connection the European Commission has indefinite authority to “monitor” our fiscal arrangements and if we get out of line, there may be consequences, including daunting fines (article 126 in what is now known as the “Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union”, a consolidation of several treaties).
Specifically, in the case of member states that are members of the euro group, there are special requirements. “In order to ensure the proper functioning of economic and momentary union . . . The Council [of Ministers] shall . . . adopt measures . . . to strengthen the coordination and surveillance of their budgetary discipline [and] to set out economic policy guidelines for them, while ensuring that they are compatible with those adopted for the whole of the Union and are kept under surveillance” (article 136)."