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SF welcomes Catania Report on Fundamental Rights in the EU

13 January, 2009

Tomorrow, Wednesday 14th of January, MEPs in Strasbourg will vote on the Catania Report on the Situation of Fundamental Rights in the EU which has been complied by the European Parliaments Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

Speaking ahead of tomorrows vote from Strasbourg Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald said:

“The Catania Report on the situation of Fundamental Rights in the European Union in the years 2004-2008" stresses ‘the need to protect the right of minorities, to fight all discrimination against all vulnerable categories’. It also recognises the social and economic rights of member state citizens.

“I welcome this report which includes important elements drawn from Written Declaration 111, on Ending Street Homelessness which was adopted by the European Parliament in April 2008 as a result of a joint initiative between myself and 4 other MEPs.

“I particularly welcome the reports call for the introduction of emergency winter plans for the homeless and for a framework definition of homelessness and the gathering of reliable statistical data on homelessness across the EU.

“It is estimated that some 5,000 people are homeless in Ireland, 629 of these are children. In Dublin alone approximately 1,500 adults and 485 children, the majority of whom are under 11 years of age, have been identified as homeless. These are only estimates.

“Homelessness is one of the big challenges facing the European Union, a challenge we are more than capable of overcoming if we set ourselves a strategic approach that delivers results. The objective of ending street homelessness in all EU member states can and should be achieved. It simply needs the political will of member state governments and EU institutions to make it happen.

“The Catania Report is an additional step towards pushing the European Council, Commission and member states to act on homelessness.” ENDS

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