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Accountability Absent from EU Debate

6 May, 2004


Sinn Féin's European election candidate for Dublin, Mary Lou McDonald has described a statement by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, that he wants an EU decision-making process that is clear and transparent as "ludicrous" and "full of empty rhetoric". She went on to claim that "It is simply not in the interests of those people pushing for European integration to have an open debate, and so one will not take place."

Ms McDonald said: "Commitments to accountability and transparency are welcome, but unless matched by actions, then it merely sounds like more of the empty rhetoric that characterises the EU debate. Government Ministers and EU bureaucrats regularly call for accountability and transparency, but then proceed to hold EU Council meetings in private. Trade negotiations on opening up public services are held in secret and no report is given to the people as to what was discussed.

"The Convention on Europe was largely unaccountable, with little democratic input. Representatives on the Convention have admitted to voting for vast swathes of text that they never had the opportunity to scrutinise. The Convention process was driven by a self-appointed elite of Eurocrats.

"The Taoiseach wants an accountable and transparent discussion around the formation of the European Constitution, but there is no possibility of this taking place. Any such discussion would expose the European Constitution for what it is, a blueprint for a European federal state and a shameless grasp for power by the unaccountable, centralised Eurocracy.

"It is simply not in the interests of those people pushing for European integration to have an open debate, and so one will not take place."ENDS

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