Taoiseach Enda Kenny has publicly opposed the need for treaty changes and that remains the Government’s official position in advance of the summit.
However, there is a realisation among senior Ministers in Dublin that Dr Merkel’s commitment to treaty change and the backing she has received from French president Nicolas Sarkozy may have made that process unstoppable.
So, in a Union of 27, if Merkozy wants a new Treaty requiring an Irish referendum then, the IT assumes, this is what will happen. They are quite possibly right.
This should remind us that there are political objectives which the 25 should have in any new Treaty negotiations as well as economic ones. (If we are going to have a referendum, this will take time, and create uncertainty, anyway: so why not get it right?) Economically speaking, if you want EMU to survive in more than the immediate short run, you should logically want a new mandate for the ECB, and some method to provide counter-cyclical adjustment in depressed regions. (I guess we are not going to get this, and indeed we are probably going to get the opposite of this.) Politically speaking, we need moves to reaffirm the primacy of the Community method, or it will be more than EMU that is endangered in the long run. I guess we’re not going to get that either. Of course I would love to be proved wrong.