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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 MEPs today voted in favour of increasing EU funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency in Palestine.

Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson made the case for increased funding saying:

"Whilst the budget is not ideal I voted in favour of supporting the peace process and financial assistance for Palestine and for UNRWA.

"As the people of Gaza are emerging from the most recent onslaught their needs are greater than ever and UNRWA needs financial support to carry out their work.

"UNRWA is dealing with thousands of families who are homeless and without livelihood. Even those with homes find themselves in neighbourhoods where water, sewerage and electricity systems have been demolished.

"The future of Gaza must not be defined by the instability and poverty imposed by the blockade.

The international community needs to do more than just providing humanitarian assistance. We must take action to address the underlying causes of the crisis. Hence, ending Israels occupation in Palestine.

"As we wait on that to happen, UNRWA is playing a leading role in addressing the devastation caused by the recent conflict and the pervasive effect of the Israeli imposed blockade.

"UNRWA is seeking $1.6 billion for emergency relief, early recovery and reconstruction priorities in the Gaza Strip, and hence, the EU must increase UNRWAs budget.

ENDS

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Speaking from Strasbourg today after the European Commission has been officially ratified by the European Parliament, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Constituency Matt Carthy said:

 “What Europe needed in a new Commission was a change in direction.  Certainly, across member states the people demanded change in last May's elections.

"The people of Europe want and deserve an end to the Austerity Agenda, an end to the conservative, regressive and undemocratic policies that underpin much of the character of the EU today. 

"They want a social Europe that protects public services, that invests in sustainable jobs for our young people and reinvigorates the regions and rural communities.

"What is on offer in the new Commission is more of the same.  This commission is representative of the old-boys club that is intent on continuing the socially regressive, undemocratic Europe that has become disengaged from the communities it claims to serve.

"Sinn Féin MEP's voted against the college because we want fair Europe in which member states work together on matters of mutual interest rather than the two-tier unequal EU that is represented by this commission.

Hogan

"I have made no secret of my concerns surrounding the nomination of Phil Hogan as Ireland's nominee to the European Commission. 

“That being said, I have always been firmly of the belief that the position of European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development is one that has the potential to be of huge benefit to Ireland. 

“I am aware too that today is a proud day for Phil Hogan and his family. I would like to acknowledge that and I wish him success in his new post.

“As a member of the Agricultural and Rural Development Committee myself, I am only too aware of the issues facing Irish Agriculture and I am committed to working with all stakeholders in the sector in order to ensure that the interests of Irish Agriculture are protected.

“In that sense, while I intend to hold the commissioner accountable at all times, I also hope to develop a productive working relationship with Mr. Hogan and I hope we can work together in good faith for the benefit of Irish Agriculture and Rural Development.”

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In a welcome vote of confidence in her early efforts, Liadh Ni Riada Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South has been ranked the hardest working Irish MEP since the Parliament returned in July, according to the MEP Ranking site.

Ní Riada said:

“Last May I was given a mandate from the people of Ireland South to go and be their representative in Brussels and I have done my best to prove their trust was well placed. As a member of the Budgetary committee I brought forward my first piece of legislation relating to the EU Globalisation Fund which was set up to assist workers displaced by global market trends, and as part of the Fisheries committee, we are bringing forth a new piece of legislation on sea fishing that should go towards helping the Irish fisherman in the competitive EU market.”

“It is an honour to serve the people of Ireland South and this strong start will not abate. The Irish people gave Sinn Féin their highest ever level of support in the May 2013 elections and we must work tirelessly to ensure that this support is rewarded.” 

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada spoke today from the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the need to reduce the administrative burden on Irish fishermen.

Ms Ní Riada, who sits on the Committee on Fisheries, submitted a number of amendments to the upcoming 'Omnibus Regulations' which will impact on fishermen in Ireland.

Ní Riada stated:

"These amendments seek to reduce the administrative burden on fishermen by gradually introducing the Landing Obligation regulations which will come in under Omnibus.

"I am also calling for an allowance to be made for changes in mesh net sizes. Specifically in relation to the use of 80mm nets when fishing for queenie scallops.

"Fishing for queen scallops is a significant part of the Irish seafood market employing hundreds of people from coastal communities. Restricting fishermen to the use of 120mm regulated nets will make scallop fishing impossible.

"While EU regulations allow for scallop fishing with dredgers, net catching scallops is less harmful to ocean life and a more sustainable solution.

ENDS

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada, speaking today from the European Parliament, blasted the European Council for its failure to live up to a promise to "invest in people".

Ms Ní Riada, who sits on the Committee of Budgets, said that Europe seemed happy to continue on the same destructive path of austerity and highlighted the impact felt at home saying:


"It is widely recognised that the austerity policies emanating from Europe are having a hugely negative impact on our people. In my own country, 16000 people in County Kerry are using food banks. Around Europe, thousands of our children are living in abject poverty and things are getting worse. It is scandalous and simply not fair!

"Emigration is still a huge problem. In Ireland 200 people are emigrating every day that is 8 Irish per hour are forced to leave their country. The same is happening in Portugal, Greece, Spain and Italy. The people emigrating are young and well educated people. This is a brain drain and our future is in jeopardy.

"It is very clear that some countries are suffering more than others.

"In addition to this, the lack of interest shown by the Commission in regards our fishermen is scandalous. In Ireland our fishing communities are in a state of crisis. The tradition of our coastal communities is being destroyed, not only in economic terms but it is destroying an age old cultural tradition.  It is obvious that there is little hope either for their future with what is awaiting them in 2015.

"We have to move away from these disastrous policies and towards sustainable investment. Jobs need to be created and people need to be given a break."

Ní Riada called for the President of the European Council to act on these issues and to stick to the promises that had been made and also highlighted the issue of delays in payment to projects and programmes in Universities, Research Institutes, SMEs and civil society

"In Ireland there are 51 million euro payment claims in delay. 24 million payment delays for the European Social Fund and 27 million euro in European Regional Development fund.

Ní Riada made the point that there was always money readily available to the banks but not to our people and asked if any assessment had been done as to how many had been affected by this delay.

"How many people have lost or are at the risk of losing their jobs in SMEs and other civil society entities? How many programs of research in our Universities, how many programmes for regional development, for support of small producers, fishermen are or are at risk of being suspended as a result of the delayed payment claims?"

ENDS

Cháin feisire Eorpa Shinn Féin Deisceart, Liadh Ní Riada, Comhairle na hEorpa toisc gur thréig siad gealltanas a thug siad ínfheistíocht a dhéanamh i ndaoine.

Tá Ní Riada mar chomhalta den Coiste um an mBuiséad agus dúirt sí go bhfuil sé soiléir go bhfuil an tAontas Eorpach sásta leanúint ar aghaidh sa treo millteach céanna.

Agus í ag labhairt faoi na deacrachtaí sa bhaile dúirt sí:

"Athnaítear go forleathan go bhfuil an méid déine a bhfuil ag teacht ón Eorap ag cur brú olmhór ar ghnáth daoine. Tá 16000 daoine i mo thír féin, i gContae Chiarraí, ag baint úsáid as banc bia. Timpeall na hEorpa, tá na míllte páiste ag maireachtáil i mbochtanas, agus tá an scéal ag dul in olcas.

"Is fadhbh ollmhór é an eisimirce chomh maith.  Tá 200 duine ag fágáil Éireann gach lá.  Sin 8 duine gach uair a chloig. Sa Phortaingéil, d´fhág 128 míle daoine i 2013. Tá na rudaí ceannan céanna ag tarlú sa Ghréig, sa Spáinn agus san Iodáil. Is daoine óga atá ag fágaint..is iad san ár dtochaí.

"Tá sé soiléir go bhfuil tíortha éagsúla ag fulaingt níos mó ná tíortha eile.

"Mar aon le sin, tá an neamhshuim atá léirithe ag an gComisiúin i dtaobh na hiascairí scanallach.  In Éirinn tá ár bpobail iascaireachta i gcruachás mór. Agus is léir nach bhfuil mórán dóchas dóibh don todhchaí le tuilleadh gearradh siar i ndán dóibh i 2015. Tá traidisiún dé phobal an chosta á scriosadh, ní amháin ar chursaí eacnamaiochta ach táthar ag cuir deireadh le traidisiúin cultúrtha ag dul i bhfad siar.

"Caithfear bogadh ó na beartais déine agus bogadh i dtreo infheistíocht agus fás a bhfuil inbhuanaithe. Caithfear postanna a chruthú is sos a thabhairt dóibh siúd a bhfuil i ngatar."

D´iarr Ní Riada ar Uachtarán Comhairle na hEorpa a bheith gníomhach ar na ceisteanna seo agus a ngealltanais a choiméad. Léirigh sí an fhadhb atá ann i leith moilleanna in íocaíochtaí do chláir ollscoileanna, institiúidí taighde agus gnóthaí bheaga agus mheánmhéide.

"In Éirinn tá cosc curtha ar 51 milliúin euro d´éilithe íocaíochta de. 24 milliúin i gCoiste Shóisialta na hEorpa agus 27 milliúin i gCiste Forbraíochta Réigiúnaí na hEorpa.

Léirigh sí an slí go raibh go leor airgead ann do na mBainc ach rud ar bith do dhaoine. D´iarr sí ar an gComhairle measúnú a dhéanamh ar na méid daoine a bhfuil  ag fulaingt de bharr na moilleanna seo.