Anderson takes her place in EU Parliament
Sinn Féin's Martina Anderson MEP will formally take her place in the European Parliament today, Wednesday 13th June. Speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg today about the availability of Structural Funding for Regions Ms Anderson said:
"The Stability and Growth Pact which was adopted by the EU in 1997 and due to come into effect from January 1st 2014 is a mechanism designed to punish Member States that fail to meet targets imposed on annual budgets by the EU and supported by a number of EU States including Germany. The main target of this Pact will be Cohesion Funding which is intended to support Regional economic development and employment. The Cohesion funding was put in place in an effort to bridge gaps in finances between richer and poorer Regions and assist in the fight against poverty, create employment, support Small and Medium business, transport and energy projects.
"I will join with my colleagues in the GUE/NGL group to oppose any interference with the availability of Cohesion Funding to Regions such as the North even if this so-called Stability and Growth Pact is broken by Member States. Funding must be available on the basis of need and should not be used as an instrument of punishment against vulnerable regions because of a Member State's failure to meet bureaucratic targets.
"The North of Ireland for instance should not be punished because of decisions taken by the British government or to satisfy German Rules and Regulations."