European Movement Abusing Tax Payers' Money – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin spokesperson on European Affairs Aengus Ó Snodaigh has accused the European Movement of 'abusing taxpayers’ money' and called on Minister Mícheál Martin to “withdraw their funding as they are in clear breach of regulations prohibiting them from political campaigning.”
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“The European Movement was founded in the 1940s. Its aim is to ‘contribute to the establishment of a united, federal Europe’.
“Earlier this month, he European Movement published 20 ‘Fact Sheets’ on the Lisbon Treaty. They claimed that their intention is ‘to make sure that the real facts get through, above the shouting matches and finger pointing, so we can make our decision based on what it is in the document.’
“However the fact sheets and the public events at which the European Movement are promoting these 'facts' are a thinly veiled attempt to sway voters in support of the Lisbon Treaty.
“Since 2006 the European Movement have received €1 million from the Department of Foreign Affairs officially to ‘deepen understanding of the EU’. However the European Movement are abusing this money to garner support for the Lisbon Treaty.
“In addition to abusing public funds the Executive Director of the European Movement Andrea Pappin, a former staffer at the Department of Foreign Affairs, also has a clear conflict of interest working as a special adviser to vice-president of the European Commission Margot Wallström.
“At a time when spending on vital public services is being cut, the ongoing payment of public monies to a body such as the European Movement cannot be justified, especially as they are in clear breach of the regulations governing that funding. The Minister responsible should withdraw their funding immediately.” ENDS
Note for editor: PQ response from Minister for Foreign Affairs regarding European Movement funding.
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he provides funding to the European Movement Ireland; and if so, the annual breakdown of that funding since 2005.
- Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.
* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 16th September, 2009.
Ref No: 31622/09
The Department of Foreign Affairs has provided an annual grant-in-aid to the European Movement Ireland over many years.
This funding arises out of the Department’s overall coordinating role in relation to Ireland’s membership of the European Union. Deepening public understanding of the EU and maximising public awareness of Ireland’s role in the Union is an ongoing strategic priority for my Department.
The annual breakdown of that funding since 2005 is set out below. This funding is specifically provided under Subhead E of the Department’s Estimates – Contributions to Bodies in Ireland for the Furtherance of International Relations (Grants-In-Aid).