Via Ian Parker-Joseph, who spotted this in the New Europe journal (bolding mine):
Referenda and Democracy
The EU has now accumulated significant (bad) experiences with referenda.
It was very delicately yet effectively communicated by the Romanian social-democrat MEPs:
“The referendum in Ireland has demonstrated that direct democracy (by way of referendum) cannot ensure the progress of the European process.
The security, liberty and prosperity of hundreds of millions of European citizens ask for complex leadership actions, which cannot be appreciated by heterogeneous populations, from the point of view of the information level and the education one.
European integration is a process that must be conducted politically by the elected representatives of the European citizens.”
In other words, we can't be doing such things as asking the people what they think of the 'European process', because they are too stupid to give the correct answer.
I've seen plenty of examples of the utter contempt of Eurocrats for democracy, but I reckon this tops the lot. This should be on every newspaper and news bulletin in Europe - with the headline: This is what they think of you.
UPDATE: This evening's statement by Hans-Gert Pöttering, president of the European Parliament keeps up the dictatorial tenor of Saturday's press release:
"...Without the reforms which are made possible by the Lisbon Treaty, the accession of further countries to the European Union is hardly conceivable. We call upon the EU Summit on Thursday and Friday in Brussels to take all appropriate steps to make the Reform Treaty a reality.
The ratification process must continue without reservation. We call upon the Irish Government, for its part, to submit proposals as to how we can jointly progress beyond this difficult phase in European politics...It remains our goal to see the Lisbon Treaty enter into force before the elections of June 2009 to the European Parliament..."
What part of no don't you understand, Herr Pöttering?
UPDATE 2: An online petition has been set up, calling on Gordon Brown to respect the result of the Irish referendum and abandon the attempt to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. Sign here.