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Doherty challenges EU Parliament Office to publish balanced EU flyer

11 May, 2004

Sinn Féin EU candidate for the North West constituency Pearse Doherty, has today challenged the European Parliament Office in Ireland to 'publish a flyer which gives a balanced view of the EU to the people of Ireland'. Mr Doherty made his comments, just as the Parliament Office is in the process of supplying every home in the state with a flyer that gives information on the EU Parliament to citizens.

Speaking today, Mr Doherty said:

"It is certainly a welcome move that the European Parliament Office in Ireland are communicating information to the citizens of this state about the EU, as thus far, there has been little consultation with the Irish people on matters relating to the EU.

"However, I wish to challenge the Parliament Office to publish a flyer which gives a balanced view of the EU. The current flyer, which is due to be delivered to every home in the state, is an upbeat positive assessment of the role of the EU Parliament.

"During the Nice Treaty Referendums over 500,000 people rejected the current direction of the EU, on two separate occasions. The flyer, which is currently being distributed, gives no indication of the concerns of a large section of the population - let us see a balanced and critical analysis of the EU.

"Citizens must be made aware that the EU Parliament is being rendered politically useless in many areas, with the Council of Ministers, and the leaders of the most powerful nations bypassing Parliament and making decisions over the heads of MEPs. Indeed it emerged only last week that proposals put forward by the Irish Presidency would see the Council of Ministers make the final decision on the EU budget, if the EU Parliament cannot achieve a 60% vote in favour of ratification.

"It is to important to challenge the rosy assessments of the EU, put forward by the establishment. Sinn Féin will continue to challenge the many inequalities within the EU, and will work towards an alternative model based on justice and equality." ENDS

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