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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’s Midlands Northwest MEP Matt Carthy today addressed the Magill Summer school on the question of “The European Union: Reform or decline?”. During the debate Carty called for reform of the EU institutions and for powers to be returned to members states. He again urged the government to withdraw Phil Hogan’s nomination for the position of Ireland’s next EU Commissioner.

Carthy said;

“The European Union is at a cross roads. The public in Ireland and elsewhere are clearly uncomfortable with the direction of the EU.

“The election results were a call to action; they should have signalled a clear change in direction on the part of European leaders. Many of us were watching the first meeting of the European Council to see if the message had been received.

“Rather than announce a single change in policy or direction the council concentrated on a secret carve up of the top jobs within the institutions.

“The first big decision that our own government has had to take since the election has been the announcement of our next commissioner. If Fine Gael and Labour had heeded the message from voters they would have nominated someone who represented a break from the old boys club; a break from the usual Fianna Fáil type crony back-slapping move of using positions like this to reward party loyalty rather than to put someone who would be a credit to our country.

“What did they do? They nominated the epitome of cronyism. Phil Hogan has been nominated as commissioner because he was loyal to Enda Kenny during the leadership heave. Despite the fact that he has failed as a Minister; that questions will undoubtedly be raised at European level about his record it appears that Labour are content to support the nomination. I want to again call on the government to withdraw this nomination and put forward someone who we can all support.

“There are those who want the EU to become a federal state which in effect means taking an increasing amount of decision making powers further away from the people. I do not believe most of the Irish people, or indeed the majority population of the EU as a whole, wants to see this happen and that this is part of the reason for the growing chasm between EU institutions and the people of Europe.

“I believe most people, in Ireland and across Europe, agree with my starting point that decisions that affect them should be taken as close to them as possible. For this reason Sinn Féin is seeking support for a new EU convention with an explicit mandate to identify competencies to be returned to member states.

“It is time for a new direction, in Ireland and in the EU institutions. It is time to stand up for Ireland and the interests of the Irish people. I believe that if the EU is to have a future we need to end the Brussels power grab, to reign in the Commission and return powers to the member states.”

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Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan has severely criticised government inaction on legacy bank debt in the wake of comments made by Joachim Pfeiffer, the economic policy spokesperson for the parliamentary group of the ruling Christian Democrats in Germany.

Speaking prior to a meeting arranged with the Ballyhea Group in Dublin today, Lynn Boylan said:

“Joachim Pfeiffer stated yesterday that there was no chance of Ireland’s legacy assets being paid by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and that the €60 billion fund would only be used for future bank rescues.

“His words clearly indicate that the government has been sitting on its hands when it comes to this issue and has made no progress whatsoever on legacy bank debt. It is also clear that the European view of Irish legacy bank debt is far removed from the government’s hollow words on the issue.

“Mr. Pfeiffer also stated that if the ESM was used retroactively to compensate Ireland, other countries such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, and perhaps Italy would want similar compensation.

“His words highlight the fact that the government has not been pressurising other EU states on legacy bank debt. That Mr. Pfeiffer could completely contradict our government is a very worrying fact.

“It is now left to pressure groups such as the Ballyhea Group, who I am meeting with today, to TDs like Pearse Doherty and our MEPs to do the government’s work. I can assure you that I, as Dublin MEP, will work together with all parties to ensure we continue to remind Europe that a deal on our legacy bank debt is a necessity rather than an aspiration.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has reiterated her opposition to controversial fracking and vowed to continue to campaign vigorously against its introduction to Ireland. 

Ms Anderson said;

"Sinn Féin's position on this issue is very clear; we remain solidly opposed to any form of fracking.

"Our party has continually stood with the people of Fermanagh in opposition to fracking, which would have a devastating impact on the natural environment. 

"That policy is clear and has been ratified at several party Ard Fheiseanna. 

"In every elected fora, local councils, the Assembly and the Dáil, Sinn Féin has voiced our opposition to fracking and vowed to block it at the Executive if and when a planning application is made for fracking near Belcoo. 

"In the European Parliament I have repeatedly made it clear that Sinn Féin is strongly opposed to tracking. 

"I have consistently voted in favour of mandatory Environmental Impact Assessments for both the exploitation and exploration phases. 

"I also submitted my own amendments to European Parliament reports calling for such impact assessments in order to protect our environment. 

"That stands in stark contrast to the voting record of other parties from the North in the European Parliament, who have repeatedly voted against plans for mandatory environmental impact assessments. 

"Both the DUP and UUP need to explain to the people of Fermanagh and Ireland why they do not support measures to protect our environment from fracking. 

"For my part, I will continue to strongly oppose fracking in all its forms and to stand up for the people of Fermanagh."

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on EU Foreign Ministers to act with the same resolve against Israel as they have against Russia.

Martina Anderson said:

“As a member of the European Parliament and while not questioning their actions in regard to the situation in Ukraine I find it incredulous that Member States Foreign Ministers have moved to impose stringent sanctions on Russian Officials ‘deemed’ responsible for their country’s action yet stand idly by whilst Israel is allowed to massacre hundreds of helpless Palestinian civilians, one in four of which are children with impunity. Where is the morality in this position?

“Let me be clear, the situation in Ukraine is terrible and unacceptable but when is the EU, UN and the international community going to get the courage to tell Israel – your expansionism, aggression and collective punishment of the Palestinian people is unacceptable. Tell them that unless they cease and desist and enter into meaningful negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people chosen by the Palestinian people that the full range of sanctions being threatened against Russia – visa bans, asset freezes and a halt to all military and economic aid and cooperation – will be also be imposed on Israel.

"In the first instance the EU/Israel Association Agreement should be suspended as Israel has breached Article 2 of the Agreement with its ongoing violations of Human Rights in Gaza.

“It’s past time for world leaders including EU Foreign Ministers to stand with the oppressed against bully nations such as Israel.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed a call from the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council for an end to the occupation of Palestine.

Speaking after the Foreign Affairs Council called for an immediate end to the violence in Gaza; Ms Anderson said; 

"While it was selective in its condemnation of violence and legitimises the spurious claim by Israel that human shields are being used in Gaza, the Council has been forthright in its calls for the indiscriminate targeting of civilians to end. 

"The council has said it is particularly appalled by the human cost of the Israeli military onslaught and also expressed deep concern at the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation. 

"It also called for the immediate an unconditional opening of border crossings to allow the flow of humanitarian aid and people. 

"Crucially, the council's conclusions examined the root of the problems and said the only way to end the conflict is through agreement that would end the occupation which began in 1967. 

"This is particularly welcome as it directly addresses the crux of the problems faced by the Palestinian people. 

"It also reaffirmed its commitment to to a two state solution and called for a halt on the expansion of illegal israeli settlements. 

"The conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council go much further than the frankly weak resolution passed by the European Parliament which failed to recognise the significance of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories."