Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin - Who Fears Democracy

20 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald this morning in Strasbourg has called for the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, calling it undemocratic.

The Dublin MEP said:

"The Lisbon treaty will only be subjected to democratic scrutiny of the people in Ireland, there is a fear of referendums in other states, I ask why so? Who fears democracy? Who fears the voice of the people? We talk the talk of democracy but walk the walk of a deeper centralisation of power.

"How can we speak the language of peace yet commit to further increase the Union's military spending and support the continuing development of the armaments industry in Europe? Why do we insist on emulating the United States? Do we really believe that creating its European equivalent will promote a peaceful world?

"Will we continue with the myth that the EU values public services and workers rights when all the evidence on the ground contradicts this? Ask the people of Vaxholm or workers at Irish Ferries about the EU commitment to vindicating workers rights.

"Why do we congratulate ourselves for being substantial donors of aid to developing countries while devising 'partnership agreements' that force poor countries to lay bare their markets to European economic ambition?

"How can any of us here today who believe in democracy, peace or public services support the Lisbon Treaty?

"This treaty is not about efficiency or reform. It is a carte blanche for further erosion of democracy. Its self amending clauses alone are evidence of this. It is a charter for further privatisation; it offers no advance on the environment, nothing new in the protection of workers' rights. It gives powerful EU institutions a free hand to further militarise our Union.

"Would the people of Europe support such a treaty? I believe they would not. Perhaps that is why with the exception of Ireland, where the government has no choice on the matter, they will not be asked their view.

"The truth is that the Lisbon Treaty is about advancing the ambitions of those who will not rest until the EU takes its place among the superpowers of the world.

"As an Irish woman and a proud European, I want my country to have the freedom to take decisions in the best interests of all our people. I want all members states, large and small, to equally enjoy that right. Collectively and democratically we can bring about positive change, delivering for our people and for the world. We need to reform the EU to enable us to achieve these things, to create the Europe that our people want and deserve. The Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for Ireland, it is a bad deal for Europe and it is a bad deal for the wider world." ENDS

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