Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Mary Lou McDonald meets with senior French politicians in Paris as Sarkozy takes over EU Presidency

1 July, 2008

Sinn Fein Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald this morning took part in a joint press conference with senior French politicians including Jean Luc Melenchon French Socialist Senator, and President of Pour la Republique Sociale (PRS), PS member of the Assemblee National Marc Dolez, and Marie-Georges Buffet, General Secretary of the PCF.

Ms McDonald said:

"The Lisbon Treaty is finished. I note with interest today's news that Germany and Poland's ratification process is now in doubt. Regardless of the outcome for these two countries the fact remains that Irish people have spoken. Ratification must cease and the process of a new negotiation begin.

"Today I have discussed with my French colleagues the need for a new Treaty, one which deals with the shared concerns voiced across Europe by the people themselves.

"Concerns raised during the Irish referendum on democracy, militarism, workers rights and public services are not just of concern to the people of Ireland. They affect and animate people across Europe.

"The primary responsibility lies with the European Council to deliver a better deal for the EU. However it is also the responsibility of all of us who argued against the Treaty to outline with clarity what we believe a new Treaty must contain. For our part Sinn Féin last week submitted to the Irish government a detailed demand of the minimum such a Treaty must allow for.

"However for now the focus must turn to France and its steering of the EU's response to the Irish vote. Octobers European Council meeting will be an important marker of President Sarkozy's leadership.

"Will Mr. Sarkozy listen to the people and begin the process of securing a better deal for the peoples of Europe or will he collude with those unwilling to respect the Irish referendum, as they did the French and Dutch before us.

"What is at stake is too great to ignore. To be truly pro European is to protect and uphold the Unions core values, democracy and partnership. EU leaders must seize the moment. A new Treaty can and must be negotiated." ENDS

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