Sinn Féin activists gather to finalise preparations for EU elections
Sinn Féin activists from across Ireland are meeting in the Teachers Club in Dublin today to finalise preparations for the forthcoming European Parliament elections. Speaking at the opening of the conference Dublin EU candidate Mary Lou McDonald said "this is the most important European election that Sinn Féin has ever faced and the party is campaigning to return an all Ireland team of MEPs to Europe."
Ms. McDonald said:
"This is the most important European election that Sinn Féin has ever faced and the party has a real opportunity to return an all Ireland team of MEPs to Europe. We are the only party standing in all five EU constituencies in Ireland and in the Local Government elections we will be standing in every county in the 26 Counties. Sinn Féin‚s agenda for change is the same whether it is our work in local communities, Leinster House, the Assembly or Europe.
"This election comes at an important time when the EU has just been enlarged from 12 to 25 member states, a Constitution for the EU is being negotiated and a more dangerous international situation has sharpened debate on EU foreign, security and defence policy.
"We welcome enlargement and the accession of new states. As a small nation that has much in common with the smaller accession states we do not want an enlarged EU to be dominated by the political, economic and military interests of the larger states.
"We agree that the simplification and consolidation of existing EU Treaties is necessary but we are opposed to such a process being used to diminish sovereignty and increase the power of the EU as the draft Constitution does.
"We do not want a militarised EU that would act as a 'world power' either in concert with or in competition with the USA.
"We do want an EU that is a partnership of equal states, co-operating in social and economic development in Europe and beyond. We do want Ireland to take a leading role in an EU that promotes peace, disarmament and the just resolution of conflicts in tandem with a reformed, renewed and democratised United Nations.
Sinn Féin's commitment is to:
- Work for a reformed EU that gives power back to the people.
- Promote Irish sovereignty, democracy and neutrality.
- Advance all-Ireland approaches to economic and social issues with the active assistance of the EU.
- Seek new priorities for EU policy including the elimination of poverty.
- Build political alliances with like-minded parties to advance these goals.
"In the last decade Sinn Féin has gone from strength to strength as our agenda for change begins to have a real impact. We want to bring this agenda to the heart of Europe. We are contesting this election to return an all Ireland team of Sinn Féin MEPs to Europe."ENDS