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EU Election Manifesto 2014

Putting Ireland First - Éire Chun Cinn

Sinn Féin's bilingual election manifesto for the 2014 EU election was launched on Monday 12 May. Download Sinn Féin's EU Manifesto 2014 here.


EU Election News

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson who is leading an EU Delegation to Palestine, has met with Israeli and Palestinian NGOs to discuss the topic of Indication of Origin labelling.

Ms Anderson said,

"Over 800,000 settlers live illegally in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

"These Illegal Israeli settlements remain one of the greatest obstacles to peace in the region and was the topic of conversation during our meeting with Israeli and Palestinian NGOs.

"The EU presently contributes directly and indirectly to the occupation of Palestine via trade in settlement products, financial support for Israeli institutions in the occupied territories and investment in Israeli military infrastructure through the nature of its present agreements with Israel.

"While labelling only affects 1% of the total trade between the EU and Israel it amounts to an estimated €200 million worth of illegal settlement products to the EU every year. 

The Chair of the Delegation of Relations with Palestine, Ms Anderson said,

"Although we received a renewed commitment from the EU last November to label products from illegal Israeli settlements, we are still waiting for this to be implemented. 

"The introduction of labelling on these products will inform consumers and allow them to make an informed decision when purchasing goods, the profits of which directly or indirectly, contribute to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.

"This issue has been a key campaign for the Delegation for Relations with Palestine and we will continue to campaign on this issue in order to put pressure on Israel to respect international law and help advance a sustainable peace in the region." 

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has condemned the Israeli suspension of three Arab Parliamentarians and called on the International community to demand that Israel conform to acceptable democratic principles.

Ms Anderson said:

“Israel is fond of claiming to be the only democracy in the Middle East, therefore, it needs to demonstrate this by abiding by the basic principles of democracy one of which is the right of parliamentarians to fulfil their obligations as elected representatives without interference.

“On Monday 8 February, the Knesset Ethic committee suspended two Arab Palestinian legislators, Mrs. Haneen Zo'abi and Mr. Basel Ghattas, for four months and MK Jamal Zahalka for a period of two months from all Knesset activities except voting. 

“Netanyahu's coalition government also approved a new draft bill which will enable the suspension of Arab parliamentarians for making political statements related to issues of so-called national loyalty to the Jewish state or is interpreted as an apology for terrorism if  90 Members of parliament (of the 120-seat Knesset) vote to do so.

“These undemocratic suspensions follow a recent meeting by the three parliamentarians with families of Palestinian killed in alleged attacks on Israelis. This meeting was deemed unacceptable and showing public support for ‘terrorist’ attacks against Israelis. 

“This meeting took place following a humanitarian request to the Israeli police for the return of the bodies of their relatives in order that they could bury them. In what is seen as an act of collective punishment the Israeli government keep possession of the bodies for months after the deaths.

“By any measure of international standards these actions by the Israeli government are undemocratic and an affront to human decency.

“The international community must insist that Israel rescind discriminatory laws that allow for punitive punishment and expulsion of democratically elected representatives on the grounds of ethnicity or political persuasion for what is generally accepted as fabricated security reasons.

“The suspension of these Arab parliamentarians must be lifted immediately.”

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An EU cross-party delegation of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Palestine led by Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has been blocked by the Israeli government from entering Gaza.

Martina Anderson said:

“As part of its mandate the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Palestine, which I chair, travelled to the region yesterday on a four day fact-finding mission in the West Bank and Gaza.

“But we have been informed by Israeli authorities that the Delegation will not be permitted to proceed to Gaza, and will for the fourth time in two years be denied access.

“EU support to the Palestinians amounts to 300 million euros per annum.

The purpose of the delegation’s visit is to assess the situation on the ground and the impact EU policies and assistance programmes are having on the lives of Palestinians.

“Despite stating clearly that the remit of this delegation has a purely social, economic and humanitarian focus, we continue to be blocked.

“I condemn, in the strongest terms, the Israeli authorities’ decision to deny this delegation access to Gaza for the fourth time.

“It is unacceptable that an official EU delegation to Palestine is refused entry to assess the humanitarian situation and the destruction in Gaza. Since the EU is the largest contributor of finance to Palestinians it is time the EU took steps to insist its delegations are allowed unhindered access to the region.

 “These blatant attempts to deter us from our responsibilities to monitor the impact of EU funding in the Region should not be allowed to go unchallenged. The European authorities must leave Israel under no illusions that there will be repercussions if it insists on blocking access to Gaza by the Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Palestine. 

“If Israel thinks that blocking EU-accredited International delegations from visiting Gaza that its illegal demolitions of EU-funded structures and other acts of oppression will be hidden from the wider world then it is seriously mistaken. It will only strengthen our resolve to expose what can only be described as Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people.”

Notes: The delegation is being led by Delegation Chair Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL, Irish) and composed of 6 other Members: Margrete Auken (Vice-Chair of Delegation, Greens, Denmark), Roza Thun (EPP, Poland), Eugen Freund (S&D, Austria), Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL, France), Rosa D’Amato (EFDD, Italy) and Konstantinos Papadakis (NI, Greece).

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has urged anyone travelling in Europe to familiarize themselves with the EU-wide 112 Emergency number.

Ms Anderson said:

“Every year we hear of holidaymakers finding themselves in emergency situations while vacationing in Europe.

“As we enter that time of year when people are considering holiday destinations I would urge everyone to familiarize themselves with the EU-wide 112 Emergency services number.

“The 112 number was first initiated in 2009 but surveys indicate that less than 30% of Irish people are aware of its existence.

“It can be a terrifying experience to find yourself in a foreign environment trying to deal with an emergency concerning yourself or a loved one and unaware of the quickest way to contact emergency services.

“112 is the European emergency phone number, available everywhere in the EU, free of charge.

“It is possible to call 112 from fixed and mobile phones to contact any emergency service: an ambulance, the fire brigade or the police.

“When you dials 112, a specially trained operator will answer the call. Depending on the circumstances and emergency services required, the operator will either deal with the request directly or transfer the call to the most appropriate emergency service.

“If you do not know your exact location, the operator will physical identify where the origin and pass it to the appropriate emergency services so that help can be dispatched immediately.

“The 112 number is also used in some countries outside the EU - such as Switzerland and South Africa - and is available worldwide on GSM mobile networks.

“I urge anyone intending to travel anywhere in Europe to familiarize themselves with the 112 emergency services number – it could save lives.”  

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed a decision taken by the Bureau of the European Parliament to ring-fence 0.2% of the 2017 budget in order to add Irish as a further official language and to make ending the derogation of the Irish language a priority.

Ms Ní Riada said,

"Since my election to the European Parliament in May 2014, I have made every effort to promote, protect and end the derogation faced by the Irish language.

"Last March I went on a ‘stailc teanga’ or Irish language rights trial; in a bid to assess the ability of the Parliament to facilitate those who seek to exercise their Irish Language Rights.

"I also called extensive meetings, including writing to the President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz, in a bid to get this result.

A member of the European Parliament's Committee for Culture and Education, Ms Ní Riada said,

"The Bureau also noted that it would assign the resources needed to achieve the phasing out of the derogation for Irish. A decision that they noted would require a gradual increase of the budget resources and staff required for both the translation and interpretation of the Irish language

"Although the increase to the budget is minute and the process does not end here, this latest development is most welcome.  

"This has been a key campaign of mine and I will continue this until the Irish language and its speakers in the European Parliament receive the recognition and support it deserves." ENDS