A Tale of Two Treaties: Citizens’ Guide


Ireland is being asked to approve two new international treaties and an amendment to the European Union Treaties.

These are:

1. Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism
(called ‘ESM Treaty’)

2. Treaty on Stability Co-ordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (‘Fiscal Treaty’ or ‘Stability Treaty’)

3. Amendment to Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’)

Referendum (31st May 2012)

The Government has decided on advice of the Attorney General that Ireland cannot ratify the Fiscal Treaty without the consent of the Irish people. The Referendum will take place on 31st May 2012, seeking the approval of the people to amend the constitution so as to permit ratification.

The Government is not holding a referendum on the ESM Treaty or on the Article 136 amendment. The Government intends to ratify the ESM Treaty and to approve the Article 136 Amendment by passing laws but will not do so until the outcome of the Referendum on the Fiscal Treaty is known. If there is a Yes to the Fiscal Treaty in the Referendum, the Government’s plan is to ratify both treaties and approve the Article 136 amendment so that Ireland will then be bound by all three.

The purpose of this website is to give people an introduction to the content of each treaty and to explain how the two treaties are interlinked. We also describe the proposed amendment to Article 136, agreed by EU Heads of Government to facilitate the establishment of the ESM.

On the top are links to guides to both of these treaties as well as to the texts of the treaties themselves for you to read.

Feel free to share the information.

This Citizen’s Guide was written by Mary Linehan, Solicitor and Joe Noonan, Solicitor.

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This entry was posted in ESM / European Stability Mechanism, EU, Fiscal Compact Treaty, ireland, Permanent Austerity Treaty, Referendum and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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