Sinn Féin working to build an Ireland of equals
Sinn Féin EU candidate for the North West Pearse Doherty speaking at the launch of the party's EU candidates in Dublin today 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."
Mr Doherty said:
"Sinn Féin wants to build a Europe of Equals - a real partnership of equal sovereign states, co-operating in social and economic development in Europe and beyond. We are 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.
"We have 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. These measures are an example of the EU at its best.
"But Sinn Féin has never been afraid to stand up against EU measures damaging to Irish interests. We oppose moves towards an EU superstate with its own army. We oppose any further infringements on Irish sovereignty, or attempts by this Government to curtail further our neutrality.
"Sinn Féin's priorities are:
-to bring our agenda for change and demand for Irish unity to the European stage,
-to create an economically and socially just EU, not an EU super-power,
to make Irish a working and official language in Europe,
-to protect Irish neutrality,
-to bring an all-Ireland approach to Europe on issues such as agriculture, funding and social policy,
-work for the reform of EU institutions, particularly the Commission and the council,
-to rebuild the Peace Process.
"Sinn Féin MEPS will be part of an active, radical team in Europe. We won't second-guess the concerns of the Irish people. We will consult and debate at local level and in elected forums and report back to communities across Ireland through our councillors, TDs MLAs and MPs.
"The bottom line for Sinn Féin is that democracy is built upon the sovereignty of the people. We support co-operation at EU level where appropriate and necessary, Sinn Féin MEPs will not only engage critically and constructively with EU policy, we will also challenge the persisting democratic deficit in EU decision-making as well as the democratic deficits here on this island."ENDS