1. Ireland now will keep our Commissioner thanks to our NO vote last time. A new position of EU Foreign Affairs representative will be created within the Commission. Irelands influential role within the Commission can continue.
2.The Council of Ministers will now meet in Public and not in Private as is now the case. This will lead to greater accountability and transparency in the Council. All states including Ireland will retain a veto in matters of Tax and Defence. All other issues will be decided by Majority vote allowing more progress and less stalemate.
3.The EU Council will now have an elected full time President for a two and a half year term. Henry Kissinger once publicly asked " When I want to speak to Europe who do I call?" A full time President will give the EU one face, one voice and increase the EU's global credibility and authority.
4. The European Parliament after Lisbon will have new powers to overrule some of the EU Council's decisions and will now also have joint control over the division of the EU budget.
5. Each states National Parliament will have 8 weeks to examine new EU legislation. If one third of countries object to a bill it can be sent back to the EU parliament.
6. A citizens initiative clause in Lisbon will allow one million signatures to bring a bill before the EU Parliament. This will be a new form of grass roots engagement in the EU process.
7. The Lisbon Treaty sets down permanently the rules and process for a country to enter the EU.These conditions include, stable government, good human rights record, and respect for minorities.
8. Lisbon treaty lays out the full powers the ECB has in Europe over monetary policy. This will strengthen the future of the euro and the authority of the ECB. In the Ireland of 2009 , if we still had the punt and no ECB you and I would need the proverbial wheelbarrow of worthless punts to buy a loaf of bread. In effect we would be the Zimbabwe of Western Europe.
9. Lisbon outlines opt-out clauses for Taxation directives and Defence directives. These opt out clauses will benefit other small countries as well as safeguarding Irelands neutrality and our investor-friendly (low-corporation tax) fiscal policy.
10. A European Culture and Heritage Clause in Lisbon recognizes the influence of Judaeo-Christian tradition on EU laws and procedures. With Western Europes growing Islamic migrant populations, this clause will give legal security against the push for Sharia Law in some mixed-culture states.
11. The fundamental Charter of human rights will become the EU charter under Lisbon. This Charter will underpin future EU laws. The Charter places protections on the vulnerable and elderly and will become a moral yardstick within EU justice.
12. The Solidarity Clause outlines the possible setting up of a European Defence Agency. This will it is hoped be a European peace -keeping force with teeth. An army of sorts with the power to intervene in a future Srebrenica and provide mutual member state military assistance. In this clause, our Neutrality allows us an opt-out.
13. The Enhanced Cooperation Clause of the Lisbon Treay discusses cooperation between states on the issues of Climate change and energy needs, amongst other areas of common interest. Environmental concerns are placed at the heart of the EU for the first time.
14. The Guarantees obtained by the Irish since Lisbon 1 are an example of nuanced and clever Irish foreign relations. The reaction abroad to another NO vote will be a shrug of the shoulders by both Eurocrats and our US multi-national tenants. The watching waiting world will not again take the time to revisit our concerns.