Need for open civic debate on anniversary of Treaty of Rome - Lynn Boylan MEP
Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan has called for open civic debate about the successes and failures of the European Union sixty years on from the occasion which paved the way for the creation of the EU as we know it today.
MEP Boylan said:
“This weekend marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which brought about the creation of the European Economic Community and eventually paved the way for the creation of the EU as it is today. The anniversary offers all Member States the perfect opportunity to engage in wide-ranging civic debate on what the EU means to them, what they see as its successes and failures, and the future direction of the EU.
“There has no doubt been great successes of the EU, doubtless there have been failures too. We should celebrate the relative peace and prosperity that has been brought to Europe since the treaty. However, there should be no blurring of what this treaty did sixty years ago and the EU of today.
“We cannot on one hand celebrate prosperity and advancement without criticising the inequality and poverty that have been created through the EU austerity agenda, neo-liberal policies and extreme free-market based approach to trade.
“Similarly, we cannot celebrate the relative peace that was brought to the Europe without assessing the current unrelenting push for the militarisation of Europe at all levels, from coordinated security and defence policy through to an EU army.
“In spite of all backslapping of EU leaders and commissioners, for many citizens around Europe the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome will be a reminder of what the EU should be and still can be - a peaceful, prosperous, social, and benevolent union of Member States.
“Such a project will take time and effort, most of all it will require the EU to move away from the direction it has been arrogantly and ignorantly heading in past decades. It is imperative that this is done.
“Now is not a time for naval gazing, it is a time for open, critical civic debate about the EU and its future to achieve the social and caring Europe that was originally envisioned."