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McDonald calls on Pat Cox to “come clean on potential conflicts of interest”

21 August, 2009

Sinn Féin Vice President Mary Lou McDonald has today called on Ireland for Europe spokesperson Pat Cox to come clean on “potential conflicts of interest” between his support for the Lisbon Treaty and his business and consultancy interests.

Ms McDonald said:

“Pat Cox has a long career in both domestic and European politics. Since standing down as an MEP in 2004 he has gone on to act as President of the European Movement and as an advisor on communication and strategy to European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Meglena Kuneva

“Mr Cox is also on the advisory boards of at least three major corporations with a strong interest in influencing EU policy, Microsoft, Pfizer and Michelin. In 2006 he became a senior advisor for lobby consultancy giant APCO and runs his own lobby firm, European Integration Solutions (EIS). APCO includes among its clients seven of the top 10 companies on Fortune’s Global 500.

“There is a potential conflict of interest between Pat Cox’s support for the Lisbon Treaty and his business and consultancy interests.

“For too long Irish politics has been damaged by the close proximity of politicians and big business. There is no room for a ‘Galway Races Tent’ type politics in the forthcoming Lisbon Treaty referendum. In order to reassure the public I would urge Pat Cox to declare all his business and consultancy involvements in the interests of transparency and political honesty.” ENDS

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