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Irish Presidency has failed to engage with Irish citizens on matters which affect them

8 April, 2004

Sinn Féin Dublin EU candidate Mary Lou McDonald will meet with EU Ministers of State in Wicklow this morning as part of a delegation from the National Forum on Europe Steering Committee. The event, entitled 'Bringing the EU closer to the citizen' will take place at the Marriott Hotel, Druids Glen in Co. Wicklow at 10.00am.

Speaking prior to today's meeting, Ms McDonald said:

"This event has been organised to promote a greater engagement of citizens in EU affairs. Thus far, the Irish Presidency has failed to engage with Irish citizens on crucial EU matters, which affect them. The citizens of this state need to be aware that this government is negotiating and taking decisions on their behalf, on serious matters like the draft EU Constitution and sovereignty. Irish citizens are being kept in the dark.

"On a broader level there has been an ongoing failure to deal with the democratic deficit within the European Union - how decisions are reached, the ongoing diminishing of sovereignty - including the decision of the Government to re-run the Nice Treaty when they didn't get the result they wanted the first time. And in the Six Counties, people are not consulted at all on any decisions that affect them in relation to the European Union.

"I look forward to the National Forum Meeting today, to put forward the Sinn Féin view on EU engagement with local communities." ENDS

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