Gerry Adams to address National Forum on Europe
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP MLA will tomorrow (Thursday May 1st 2008) give a key note address on the Lisbon Treaty at the National Forum on Europe.
Speaking ahead of the event Mr. Adams said:
"Like the vast majority of people on this island I believe that Ireland's place is in Europe. Benefits have come as a result of our membership of the EU and continued co-operation with our European partners is essential if we are to meet the challenges facing us in the time ahead. And one thing is certain. Regardless of the outcome of the referendum Ireland's place in the EU will be secure. The question now facing the Irish people is - is the Lisbon Treaty a good deal for Ireland, is it a good deal for the rest of Europe. The answer, I believe is a resounding no.
"However rejecting the Lisbon Treaty is not enough. We need to argue for a better deal for Ireland and a better future for Europe. If Sinn Féin were involved in such a negotiation our objectives would be to secure:
- A permanent EU Commissioner and reform of the Commission itself
- A greater equality in voting procedure at the Council
- A meaningful mechanism for member state involvement in the legislative process
- The abolition of all self amending articles
- A specific article recognising and protecting neutrality
- Opt outs ending financial support for nuclear power, the European Defence Agency, the start up fund and all other areas of military expenditure
- Protocols reserving this state's right to continue making its own decisions on taxation.
- Specific measures promoting and protecting public services such as health and education
- A greater emphasis on promoting fair trade over free trade and a significant increase in the importance of the development and aid agendas
- Concrete protections for workers rights." ENDS