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Publication of the report on the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty

European Union, Press Releases, Ireland, 2010

The Minister for Foreign Affairs today welcomed the publication of the report “Attitudes and Behaviour in the Second Referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon” prepared by the Geary Institute and School of Politics and International Relations at UCD.

"One year ago, the Irish people voted by a margin of two to one in favour of ratifying the Lisbon Treaty. This was of fundamental importance to Ireland’s future in Europe and represented a significant reversal of the result of the first referendum in June 2008.

This report shows that the reasons underlying these different outcomes were complex and should not be oversimplified. What is clear, however, is the belief of most Irish people that the European Union is good for Ireland and that our economic wellbeing is linked to our membership of the Union.

I am heartened that the research confirms that the availability of information from a range of sources and informed public debate about the issues raised by the Lisbon Treaty had a role in ensuring a positive outcome to the second referendum. The report also analyses the significance of the guarantees negotiated by the Government.

I would like to thank Professor Richard Sinnott, Johan Elkink and their team for this valuable analysis. It contains insights that have relevance well beyond the referendum campaigns themselves. It represents a valuable contribution to my Department’s ongoing work to communicate effectively with the public on EU issues.”

Note for Editors

Following the first Lisbon referendum in June 2008, the Government commissioned comprehensive research to clarify the reasons underlying the ‘No’ vote. In light of the ‘Yes’ vote in the second Lisbon referendum in October 2009 – and using the 2008 research as a benchmark – the Department of Foreign Affairs commissioned follow-up research in order to identify the lessons learned from the two referendum campaigns, in particular with a view to guiding and focusing its efforts to communicate effectively with the public on EU issues.

The report Attitudes and Behaviour in the Second Referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon was commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) from the Geary Institute and School of Politics and International Relations (UCD) at a cost of €11,500. It is based on fieldwork commissioned by the DFA by way of public tender from Millward Browne Lansdowne in November 2009 at a cost of €30,253.