Save Our EU Seat – Martina Anderson MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson today called on the Irish government to "prevent further marginalisation of Irish influence over EU affairs"
Speaking from Brussels Ms Anderson said:
"The Irish government needs to act in order to prevent the further marginalisation of Irish influence in EU affairs.
"The European Parliament is considering a proposal which would reduce the number of MEPs in the south of Ireland from 12 to 11. The proposal before the Parliament would leave most of the bigger countries with their full complement of MEPs while medium to small sized States including the south of Ireland would lose seats.
"The 15 MEPs across the island of Ireland, despite our political disagreements on many issues, manage to promote Irish interests in our respective committees and political groups. Any further reduction in our numbers would weaken whatever influence we have.
"I have taken the lead in the European Parliament to reject the proposal to reduce Irish representation. I am tabling an amendment to the proposed formula for redistribution of seats being brought forward by the EU Parliament. Meanwhile the Irish government has been silent on the issue and seems almost unconcerned at the prospect of losing a seat. In the current situation with Irish presidency of the EU the Irish government should be taking the lead in defending its present representation of 12 seats and to bring about a more rational division of seats in the European Parliament in order to ensure that smaller countries are not further marginalised." CRÍOCH
Note to editors:
The distribution of seats in the European Parliament is prompted by the strict limit on the number of MEPs in the Lisbon Treaty (750 MEP’s plus the President, ie. 751 MEP’s) and the fact that Croatian MEPs have to be accommodated within this limit.