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Sinn Féin Committed to a Europe of Equals

3 June, 2004

Speaking during a Women Into Politics sponsored EU debate entitled 'Why Europe matters To Women' Sinn Féin EU candidate Bairbre de Brún outlined the partys 'broad ranging and radical equality agenda'. The detail of that agenda is contained in the partys Equality manifesto which was launched this morning.

Ms de Brún said:

"Sinn Féin wants to build an Ireland of equals in a Europe of equals. This is not an empty phrase but a real aspiration, which we believe can be achieved.

"The EU provides us all with an opportunity to further and deepen the equality agenda at home, throughout Europe and indeed globally.

"This morning Sinn Féin launched our equality manifesto, and central to that is a series of proposals for addressing inequality across the EU. However it is important to remember that women are not only interested in women's issues strictly defined.

"Sinn Féin wants to see real and meaningful equality proofing put in place across all areas of EU policy formulation and decision taking. Whether it be programmes for tackling the crisis in our farming and maritime communities; the need for greater support for the community and voluntary sector; the need for greater access to training and employment to name but a few key issues, the gender impact of these issues needs to be addressed in a way that is fully consistent with the principles of equality of access and of outcome.

"Among the many policy commitments we have made in our EU manifesto are:

  • the introduction of a mechanism for equality-proofing all EU law and policy
  • the levelling-up of equality rights protections throughout the EU
  • full incorporation of the three existing EU Equality Directives into domestic law (the Employment Equality Directive, the Gender Equal Treatment Directive and the Racial Equality Directive), including their application to non-nationals
  • the introduction of more comprehensive EU anti-discrimination legislation with similar scope to the Racial Equality Directive, including:
  • new comprehensive Gender, Disability, & Lesbian & gay Equality Directives

Sinn Féin wants to play our part, working with others, to develop a comprehensive equality and human rights agenda throughout the European Union' ENDS

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