Page last updated at 13:49 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 14:49 UK

Irish treaty guarantees in brief

EU leaders meeting in Brussels hope to agree on a set of legally binding guarantees for the Republic of Ireland, so that Dublin can secure a "Yes" vote in a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

The treaty, aimed at streamlining EU institutions to make the 27-nation bloc more efficient, was rejected by Irish voters just over a year ago. The BBC has seen a draft of the guarantees, called an EU "decision", which is summarised below.

"Nothing in the Treaty of Lisbon... affects in any way the scope and applicability of the protection of the right to life... the protection of the family... and the protection of the rights in respect of education... provided by the Constitution of Ireland.

"Nothing in the Treaty of Lisbon makes any change of any kind for any Member State, to the extent or operation of the competence of the European Union in relation to taxation...

"The Union's common security and defence policy... does not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of Ireland.

"The Lisbon Treaty does not affect or prejudice Ireland's traditional policy of military neutrality...

"Any decision to move to a common defence will require a unanimous decision of the European Council... The Treaty of Lisbon does not provide for the creation of a European army or for conscription to any military formation.

"It does not affect the right of Ireland or any other Member State to determine the nature and volume of its defence and security expenditure and the nature of its defence capabilities...

"Ireland notes also that nothing obliges it to participate in the European Defence Agency."

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