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De Brún urges closer links between Assembly and EU

25 July, 2008 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has urged the Assembly and Executive to forge more active links with the EU institutions. Speaking after a meeting of the party's Northern Executive she said that opportunities exist to make further progress in Europe, but that active engagement by Ministers, civil servants and Assembly Committees was needed.

Ms de Brún said: "While grant aid from Europe will never return to the levels we once had opportunities are still there to be grasped and there is willingness on the part of the EU Commission and others to be helpful to the Assembly and Executive here as we build a new future for all our people.

"MLAs need to be more proactive in engaging with the EU Task Force report and seeking out the ways in which we can help boost the economy at this difficult time for everyone. Our Ministers, civil servants and Assembly committees all need to have a much more hands on approach.

I praise the initiative taken by our Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew in forging more direct links with the EU institutions, and her frequent visits to Brussels to further cement that working relationship. This is clearly beginning to pay dividends for the industry here. I would urge other Ministers to follow suit. I also welcome the recent visit by the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, and hope that this signals a new engagement by the Assembly." ENDS

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