Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Ryan's comments simplistic and ill informed

16 May, 2004


Sinn Féin's Dublin EU candidate Mary Lou McDonald has described Eoin Ryan's attack on the party as simplistic and ill informed. Ms McDonald said "Sinn Féin is for engagement with the EU and has supported many EU measures that promote and enhance human rights, equality and the all-Ireland agenda. But unlike other establishment parties in this state we will not adopt a wholly uncritical attitude to any and all developments in the EU, regardless of their impact on Ireland."

Ms McDonald said:

"In the 26 Counties the establishment parties have adopted a wholly uncritical attitude to any and all developments in the EU, regardless of their impact on Ireland. They have accepted everything handed down to them from Brussels and Strasbourg and have been content just to take whatever has been on offer.

"Sinn Féin is for engagement with the EU but we believe that you have to look at the many complex developments in the EU on their own merits.

"Sinn Féin has supported EU and other Europe wide measures that promote and enhance human rights, equality and the all-Ireland agenda. We argued for the inclusion of the European Convention on Human Rights in the Good Friday Agreement. We support the incorporation of the EU Charter for Fundamental Rights and the European Social Charter in EU law. We have argued for full adoption of the existing EU Equality Directives into domestic law, and for the development of new more comprehensive equality directives. These measures are an example of the EU at its best, promoting a guarantee of a basic level of rights protection in all member states.

"But Sinn Féin has also never been afraid to stand up against EU measures damaging to Irish interests. We oppose the draft EU Constitution because it brings us further down the road towards an EU superstate with its own army.

"The question of democratic accountability is critical because the EU has developed from what was essentially a free trade bloc into what is now a politically, socially and economically integrated entity which makes laws touching virtually every aspect of Irish life. But the EU Council still meets and takes decisions in secret, without transparency or accountability. Too many controversial EU measures are being fast tracked by the Irish government and rubber stamped without debate.

"The bottom line for Sinn Féin is that democracy is built upon the sovereignty of the people expressed in the form of the democratic nation state. We support co-operation at EU level where appropriate and necessary, Sinn Féin MEPs will not only engage critically and constructively with EU policy, they will also challenge the persisting democratic deficit in EU decision-making as well as the democratic deficits here on this island."ENDS

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