The Fiscal Stability Treaty explained in 20 tweets

18 May 2012

Still confused about Ireland’s upcoming Fiscal Stability Treaty referendum? A new Twitter account might be able to help.

As the Government is today running damage control following a slip from Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, TD – who said a second referendum could be held if the majority vote no this time around – a group of professionals are trying to make the treaty itself easily digestable in tweet-sized packages.

Social media professionals from the Business for Ireland group will be providing condensed explanations of the treaty in 140 characters or less via @TweetSizeTreaty.

The account was launched at the ICT Excellence Awards last night, two weeks ahead of the contentious referendum set for 31 May.

“The public is still confused about what the Stability Treaty means,” said Niall Kitson, editor of, speaking at the awards ceremony in Dublin. “In this age of social media and microblogging, if you can’t get your message across in 140 characters, the chances are you just don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Demystifying the treaty

This project is aimed at spurring jargon-free discussion about the referendum among the general public. “Social media offers an opportunity to open a dialogue between real people instead of just listening to the talking heads,” Kitson added.


TweetSizeTreaty plans to demystify the treaty in just 20 tweets, explaining its purpose, budget rules and the issue of access to emergency funding. With a high volume of information being pushed out to voters now and in the coming weeks, it will be a useful tool. However, it must be noted that Business for Ireland is openly supporting a yes vote, so an unbiased outlook is unlikely.

For alternative takes on the treaty, check out the official Twitter account of the Referendum Commission, or follow the hashtag #euref.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.