So why are we actually voting on this treaty? Does Europe need the Lisbon Treaty?
The answer is Yes. If Ireland dosent pass the Lisbon Treaty, there will be another period of soul searching and the European Governments will agree on another treaty, which could be better or worse then this treaty.
The EU was intially made for six countries, and it worked quite well with 15. But since 2004 its at its limit. We are now a union of 27 countries and its getting harder to get things done. The EU needs reform.
Lisbon is the reform. No one is going to 100% happy with the treaty, but overall I think Lisbon is a good deal.
It limits the EU's powers, it gives us a citizens a role, and it gives powers to our elected representatives, both national and european. Not exactly bad things.
If Europe is too move forward and if it is to have influence in the Balkans (prospect of entry) then we need the Lisbon Treaty to be passed. For Europe to be competive in a regionalised world, then we need to update how we do things in Europe with Lisbon.
Europe if is to remain important needs to reform. This is why we need Lisbon.