The Irish ratification referendum's 'no' has once again halted the process of European Union reforms towards adjustment to the challenges posed by growing competitive pressures from new Asian powerhouses and also - especially in the political and military fields - from the United States. The integration process has been progressively slowed down by the wide differentials among the member states - and agreement on integration's future direction, character, depth and speed has been increasingly difficult to reach. Among factors underpinning the outcome of the Irish referendum is lack of European societies' approval for the way decisions about integration have been made.
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