Legal proceedings have been initiated by TD Thomas Pringle TD challenging the Government on fundamental aspects of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (Fiscal Compact) Treaties.
The Independent TD for Donegal South West believes the treaties “raise serious legal difficulties both at the level of EU treaty law and Irish Constitutional law.”
He added: “My primary democratic concern as both a citizen and as an elected public representative is the integrity of the Irish Constitution and the EU treaties which now form such an important part of our constitutional framework. I believe that the matters that I seek the clarification and assistance of the Court on are of crucial importance not only for the citizens of this country but for the future of the EU.
“Of concern are the implications under the terms of the ESM treaty as a new permanent €500 billion bailout fund called the European Stability Mechanism is to be set up with power to call on Ireland (at a time of that institution’s choosing) to make capital contributions of up to €11,145,400,00 in various forms of capital.
“In this country’s case, this is the equivalent to approximately one third of Government Tax Revenue for 2011. This figure can be increased at the sole behest of the ESM at any time in the future and with no limit set in the treaty as to what may be sought from Member States in the future.
“In effect it can direct the State to raise sovereign debt, give the money so raised to it and can then decide, where, when, whether and how it is to be spent.”
“Therefore Ireland will not have power to control decisions regarding the use of funds raised by it.
“What if a majority of voters in the May referendum on the Fiscal Compact Treaty vote in favour of imposing permanent austerity rules on the country in order to get access to a proposed permanent Eurozone loan fund only to discover that the treaty to establish that fund is illegal under EU law and unconstitutional in Ireland and may never in fact come into force?
“On the 9th March last, I wrote to the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Foreign Affairs detailing some of these very serious concerns. To date I have received no reply to this correspondence beyond the usual standard acknowledgement of receipt of the communication. I have now been left with no other option but to take this course of action.”