Published 06/02/2012 | 05:00
Micheal Martin argues that the people should be consulted in advance of significant changes in Europe that impact our nation. There is an enormous and unsustainable democratic deficit in the relationship between Ireland and the European Union that must be recognised and promptly repaired so that the sovereign voice of the people is listened to and heeded.
This hiatus is evident beyond the agenda connected to the fiscal compact, and the brinkmanship and doomsday options presented by ministers -- were there to be a referendum to change the Constitution.
Three of our 12 MEPs elected in 2009 have now retired and been replaced automatically. A 25pc churn before the middle of a parliamentary term, at a time of crisis and uncertainty, is massive change by any standard.