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McDonald slams militarisation of the EU

13 February, 2004

Sinn Féin's Dublin EU Candidate, Mary Lou McDonald today slammed reports that France, Britain and Germany were to form a military coalition to create a rapid deployment force, which could be deployed within 15 days. Both the UK and France want the plan to be accepted by all member states by June 30th 2004, and for troops to be available by 2007.

Speaking today, Ms McDonald said:

"Sinn Féin strongly opposes this military plan by the three most powerful nations in Europe to create a rapid deployment force, which could be deployed within 15 days, and this will cause huge concern across Europe. We are beginning to witness the kind of militarised Europe that Sinn Féin cautioned against during both Nice Treaty Referendums.

"The EU is moving ever closer to a superpower to rival the United States, especially with agreements already reached on an EU Armaments Agency and an EU Security Doctrine. Many military decisions now rest with the EU, and Sinn Féin believes that this sets a dangerous precedent, which must be resisted.

"With Ireland currently holding the Presidency of the EU, the Irish Government has an added responsibility to ensure that the state is not drawn into this process, and we call upon them to assert our right to remain a military neutral state. Sinn Fein also believes that militarising the EU is leading to an erosion of the primacy of the United Nations.

"Sinn Féin wants to see the demilitarisation of the EU, and wants a greater focus on dealing with the problems that effect the peoples of the EU, namely poverty, injustice and social exclusion" ENDS

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