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Flaws in draft EU Constitution must be addressed

1 June, 2004


Speaking at the launch of the party's EU manifesto, Sinn Féin EU candidate for the South David Cullinane has called on the Irish government to address the fundamental flaws in the draft EU Constitution in the upcoming talks and not be party to the creation of an EU superstate that will have a negative impact on Ireland and Europe for generations to come."

Mr. Cullinane said:

"Sinn Féin wants to build a Europe of equals -- a true partnership of equal sovereign states, co-operating in social and economic development in Europe and beyond. This vision has little in common with the EU, which Ireland is a member of today. Every EU Treaty since 1973 has transferred power from the Irish people to a political elite in Europe. This has reduced our economic and political sovereignty and undermined our neutrality by increments. Shortly after the election the EU heads of state will again attempt to agree a new treaty establishing for the first time an EU Constitution.

"simplification pointSinn Féin is opposed to the creation of an EU superstate and the proposed draft EU Constitution moves the EU further down this federalist road. It makes fundamental changes in the structures of the EU and gives those structures more powers. It shifts the balance of power yet further from sovereign national parliaments and towards the EU, taking the single biggest step so far in the creation of an EU superstate. It entrenches the inequality of the EU by enhancing the power of the larger states. It also advances the project to turn the EU into a superpower. Sinn Féin is calling for:

  • an explicit recognition of EU member states' right to national sovereignty and self government
  • the primacy of fair trade and the social economy over free trade
  • an explicit recognition of Irish neutrality and parity of esteem for EU neutral states
  • an end to the practice of the EU Council meeting in camera
  • an end to weighted voting and a reintroduction of equality in decision-making between EU partners

We will also push for the domestic changes necessary to redress the democratic deficit here at home

"It is important that the Irish government addresses the fundamental flaws in this draft Constitution and not be party to the creation of an EU superstate that will have a negative impact on Ireland and Europe for generations to come."

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