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Need for a more open and democratic engagement with EU: de Brún

22 March, 2004


Speaking after a Queens University sponsored seminar on 'Representing Northern Ireland in the EU', Sinn Féin spokespersons on European affairs Bairbre de Brún MLA has called for 'more to be done to engage the public on European issues which affect their lives.' The seminar, which is the latest in a series organised by the Centre for European Studies in Queens addressed how local organisations can keep abreast with EU developments. The seminar took place on Monday 22nd of March at 11am in the Canada Room of the University.

Speaking after the meeting Ms de Brún said:

"At present up to 70% of all legislation affecting us has its origins in the EU. Many peopleremain unaware of this and as a result have little opportunity to input into the development of laws which profoundly affect their lives.

"While issues of CAP reform and the future of peace funding have generated a degree of public awareness other issues are less well developed here.

"Key issues such as age discrimination in the work place, the ongoing campaign for a gender Directive, EU wide campaigns to tackle poverty, homelessness and social exclusion are all key issues in other EU member states. Yet here, the public often only find out about crucial EU legislation after it has been passed, leaving with no opportunity to affect the legislation which will impact on their lives.

"It is our firm belief that more needs to be done, particularly by political parties and government to engage the public on these issues and ensure that the necessary resources are made available so that all people can have a real input into the EU policy agenda.

"There is a great need for a more open and democratic engagement with EU by all involved. This also needs to happen much earlier, as ideas and programmes are being developed in the early stages, rather after their completion, thus enabling citizens to input into their development in a more meaningful way.

"Equally the media have a valuable contribution to make, by giving greater prominence to EU issues.

"Ensuring that people here have real influence in the EU is a job for us all, through greater effort, greater advocacy, greater campaigning and greater resourcing, we can ensure that our interests and concerns play a greater role in shaping the EU policy agenda."ENDS

Gá le dul-i-ngleic níos oscailte agus níos daonlathaí leis an Aontas Eorpach : de Brún

Agus í ag labhairt tar éis seimineár a eagraíodh ag Coláiste na Banríona Béal Feirste dar teideal 'Ag Feidhmiú ar son Thuaisceart Éireann san AE', d‚éiligh Bairbre de Brún, TTR, urlabhraí Shinn Féin ar Gnóthaí Eorpacha, 'go ndéanfar iarracht níos treise le dul-i-ngleic níos fearr a bheith ag an phobal i gceisteanna Eorpacha a mbíonn tionchar acu ar a saoil'. Bhí an seimineár seo ar an cheann is deireannaí den tsraith a eagraíodh ag Ionad Gnóthaí Eorpacha an Choláiste agus dhírigh sé ar an dóigh gur féidir le heagrais áitiúla bheith eolach agus reatha ar imeachtaí an Aontais Eorpaigh. Ritheadh an seimineár 11.00 roimh nóin Dé Luain, Márta 22ú, i Seomra Cheanada na hOllscoile.

Lean Iníon de Brún léi :

"Faoi láthair, bunaítear san AE chomh fada suas le 70% den reachtaíocht iomlán a mbíonn tionchar aici orainn. Is beag duine atá eolach air sin agus, ar an dóigh sin, is beag deis a bhíonn acu lámh nó guth a bheith acu sna dlíthe a théann i bhfeidhm go domhain orthu.

"Gidh go mbíonn ceisteanna éagsúla, mar shampla, athchóiriú an Chomhpholasaí Talmhaíochta (CPT/CAP) agus airgeadas síochána, i mbéal an phobail anois is arís, is beag forbairt atá ar ábhair eile anseo.

"Tá ceisteanna práinneacha ann i dtíortha eile san AE, mar shampla, an feachtas leanúnach ar Treoir Inscne, na feachtais ar fud an Aontais leis an bhochtaineacht a ionsaí, an easpa tithíochta agus an t-eisiamh sóisialta. Ach, sa chuid seo den Aontas, is minic nach mbíonn eolas ag an phobal ar an reachtaíocht rí-thábhachtach seo go dtí go gcuirtear i gcríoch í. Ansin, cailltear an deis le rud ar bith a dhéanamh faoin reachtaíocht.

"Creidtear go tréan do Shinn Féin gur gá tuilleadh a dhéanamh, go mórmhór ag rialtais agus ag páirtithe polaitiúla, dul i ngleic leis an phobal ar na ceisteanna seo agus deimhin a dhéanamh de go mbíonn dóthain acmhainne ann le go mbeidh lámh agus guth ag achan duine i gclár pholasaí an AE.

"Is mór an gá atá ann le dul-i-ngleic níos oscailte agus níos daonlathaí a bheith ann idir an phobal agus an Aontas Eorpach. Caithfear é sin a dhéanamh i bhfad níos luaithe, tráth a bhíonn smaointe agus cláir á bhforbairt ó thús, in áit é a dhéanamh agus an gníomh i gcríoch. Ar an dóigh sin, bheadh deis ag saoránaigh uilig an Aontais guth eolach a bheith acu in oibriú agus i bpolasaithe an AE.

"Sa chaoi chéanna, thig leis na meáin lámh chuidithe a bheith acu sa scéal tré airde níos mó a bheith acu i leith imeachtaí an Aontais.

"Tá sé de dhualgas orainn uilig anseo go mbíonn guth ag an phobal san AE. Caithfear iarracht níos fearr a dhéanamh chomh maith le habhcóideacht níos treise, feachtais níos láidre agus acmhainn níos saibhre a chur chun cinn. Má dhéantar amhlaidh, cinnteofar go mbeidh guth níos glóraí agus lámh níos treise againn i gcruthú chlár agus pholasaí an Aontais Eorpaigh.Críoch

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