Treaty will not lead to conscription - Cox


Director of pro-Lisbon group ‘Ireland for Europe’, Pat Cox, has denied that the Lisbon Treaty will facilitate conscription into a European army.

Speaking this morning, Mr Cox said it was “very important” for the Yes campaign to reach out to women “who harbour” what he insisted was a “false fear” about conscription.

“I’m struck by the number of young mothers or grandmothers, who in respect of their children or grandchildren, harboured - and some of whom still harbour - anxieties about the fear that was planted last year – a false fear – but it was a real one, about conscription,” the former president of the European Parliament told RTÉ Morning Ireland.

Mr Cox said the legal guarantees secured by Ireland should assuage fears about conscription, which he said was “never intended.”

“That was never intended and now the legally binding guarantees [mean it] will never happen.”

Defending the EU’s foreign policy to-date, Mr Cox said “actions speak louder than words”. In the years since it evolved, Mr Cox said European states have agreed to 27 common missions.

Of the 27 missions, Mr Cox said nineteen were “purely civilian” and eight were of a military nature of which he said all were: “completely consistent with the values of the UN charter.”

“All of those missions were peacekeeping and none of those missions offended any of Ireland’s values. This is the reality.”

“This stuff about militarisation and Armageddon in the minds of various people here has no foundation in the reality of the EU that we are living in.”

“And it is important for people to know that there is a fundamental decency. The union is a union that has sustained peace in Europe and is willing to contribute with the UN and through the UN to sustain peace globally," he added.