Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin MEPs set out priorities for Europe

13 July, 2004


Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou McDonald speaking prior to their departure for their first trip, as MEPs, to the European Parliament said "Sinn Féin's priority is to represent our constituencies, to advance the peace process, build for Irish unity and work for equality in Ireland and across Europe."

Speaking to the media in Dublin this morning they said:

"This is a very exciting and challenging time for Irish republicans. We are the third biggest party in Ireland with more than 342,000 voters. For the first time we have representatives elected to the Dáil, Assembly, Westminster, Local Councils across Ireland and the European Parliament. The work and priorities of all of these elected representatives are the same - to represent our constituencies, to advance the peace process, build for Irish unity and work for equality in Ireland and across Europe.

"We enter the European Parliament as Sinn Féin MEPs mandated to deliver on our agenda for change and to deliver for Ireland. This means working effectively both inside the Parliament and in Ireland.

"In Europe we will work through the European United Left/Nordic Green Group (GUE/NGL) - this is a very effective and progressive group within the Parliament, which does not operate a whip system ensuring that for us, it is Sinn Féin‚s and Ireland‚s priorities, which will come first. We will also continue to engage with the widest possible range of MEPs and groups across Europe to advance our agenda for change on EU matters, the peace process and Irish unity and independence. In terms of committees our priority are those dealing with employment and industry, agriculture and rural regeneration, human rights and equality.

"In Ireland we will continue with the extensive outreach work with which we have been engaged for some time now with local communities, women‚s groups, trade unions, voluntary organisations, business sector, farming organisations and justice groups. Our emphasis will be on communicating and consulting. We want to demystify the role of MEPs and to develop mechanisms whereby that position can be used as a conduit to empower local communities.

"We also want to see all 16 MEPs elected on the island working together in the interests of all of those who elected us. And in the Dáil, and in the Assembly we will work with Sinn Féin TDs and MLAs to ensure that European matters are discussed and scrutinised. It is essential that the British government‚s suspension of the Assembly is ended immediately.

"Sinn Féin stands for change in Ireland and the EU. Our campaign slogan in the election campaign was 'an Ireland of equals in a Europe of Equals" - the changes we want at EU level are no different from those we are pursuing here in Ireland.

"We have a vision for an EU that respects the democratic rights of the people of each member state. We want an EU that promotes equality among people and nations. An EU that works for the just and peaceful resolution of conflicts in Europe and beyond. We believe that the enlarged EU must adopt a new set of priorities including the elimination of poverty within its borders and the reform and strengthening of the United Nations to advance justice and peace in the wider world.

"We also want the EU to become a partnership of equal states. We oppose current attempts to turn the EU into a superstate or a military and economic superpower because we value Irish sovereignty and Irish neutrality. We know that the EU reflects the political agenda of the big States, the unelected Eurocracy, and big business. But it can be changed, and it should be changed. As part of this we will be engaging in widespread debate on the EU Constitution in the time ahead.

"Over the next five years we will:

  • Advance the peace process
  • Build for Irish unity and independence
  • Work for a reformed EU that gives power back to the people
  • Campaign for Irish neutrality and a demilitarised Europe
  • Promote an all Ireland approach to economic and social issues with the active assistance of the EU
  • Work to revitalise Irish agriculture and rural communities on an all Ireland basis
  • Seek new priorities for EU policy including the elimination of poverty and support for public services
  • Campaign for all EU law and policy to respect and promote equality and human rights
  • Campaign for the Irish language to be recognised as an official and working language in the EU
  • Build political alliances with like-minded parties and civil society in Ireland and across the EU to advance these goals"ENDS
Éire Chothrom in Eoraip Chothrom

Dúirt Bairbre de Brún agus Mary Lou McDonald, Feisirí Shinn Féin, go bhfuil sé mar thosaíocht ag an pháirtí feidhmiú ar son a dtoghcheantar, próiseas na síochána a chur ar aghaidh, oibriú ar son athaontú na hÉireann agus oibriú ar son an chomhionnanais in Éirinn agus san Eoraip.

Arsa an bheirt acu leis na meáin i mBaile Átha Cliath maidin inniu :

"Is ré spreagach dhúshlánach í seo do phoblachtánaigh na hÉireann. Is muid-ne an tríú pháirtí mó sa tír le corradh is 342,000 vóta againn. Don chéad uair ariamh, tá ionadaithe tofa againn sa Dáil, sa Tionól, i Westminster, i gComhairlí áitiúla ar fud na hÉireann agus i bParlaimint na hEorpa. Tá na haidhmeanna agus na tosaíochtaí céanna ag achan ionadaí tofa de chuid Shinn Féin ˆ feidhmiú ar son ár dtoghcheantar, próiseas na síochána a chur ar aghaidh, oibriú ar son athaontú na hÉireann agus ar son an chomhionannais in Éirinn agus san Eoraip.

"Téann muid isteach i bParlaimint na hEorpa mar Fheisirí Shinn Féin agus sainordú againn clár an athraithe a bhaint amach ar mhaithe le hÉire. Ciallaíonn sé seo go mbeidh obair éifeachtach ar siúl laistigh den Pharlaimint agus in Éirinn.

"San Eoraip oibreoidh muid tríd an grúpa Lochlannach Glas/Aontas Clé. Is grúpa forchéimnitheach éifeachtach é sin laistigh den Pharlaimint nach mbíonn córas fuipe aige. Ar an dóigh sin, is iad tosaíochtaí Shinn Féin agus tosaíochtaí na hÉireann a bhéas chun tosaigh. Chomh maith leis sin, leanfaimid linn agus muid i ngleic leis an réimse d‚Fheisirí agus de ghrúpaí Eorpacha is leithne le clár athraithe Shinn Féin a chur chun cinn ˆ athruithe a bhaineann le hábhair Eorpacha, le próiseas na síochána, le hathaontú agus le neamhspleáchas na hÉireann. Beidh tóir againn mar bhaill ar choistí a phléann le fostaíocht agus tionscal, le talmhaíocht agus athbheochaint na tuaithe, le cearta daonna agus comhionannas.

"Leanfaimid linn in Éirinn leis an obair leathan tharraingteach a bhfuil baint againn léi le tamall maith anuas leis na pobail áitiúla, le grúpaí ban, le ceardchumainn, le heagraíochtaí deonacha, le lucht gnó, le heagraíochtaí talmhaíochta agus le grúpaí ceartais. Beidh béim againn ar an teagmháil agus ar an dul-i-gcomhairle.

"Ina theannta sin, teastaíonn uainn go n-oibreoidh le chéile na 16 Feisire Eorpacha ó oileán na hÉireann ar mhaithe leo siúd a thogh muid. Oibreoidh muid le Teachtaí Shinn Féin sa Dáil agus sa Tionól le deimhin a dhéanamh de go bpléifear agus go scrúdófar ceisteanna agus ábhair Eorpacha. Tá sé fíor-riachtanach go n-éirítear as ceal na Breataine ar an Tionól ar an toirt.

"Seasann Sinn Féin ar son an athraithe in Éirinn agus san Aontas Eorpach. Bhí Éire Chothrom in Eoraip Chothrom mar mhana feachtais againn sna toghcháin. Is ionann iad na hathruithe a theastaíonn uainn in Éirinn agus na hathruithe a theastaíonn uainn san Eoraip.

"Tá fís againn don AE, fís a bhfuil muinín aici as cearta daonlathacha phobail éagsúla na mballstát. Teastaíonn Aontas Eorpach uainn a chuidíonn leis an chomhionannas idir dhaoine agus idir náisiúin, Aontas a n-oibríonn ar mhaithe le réiteach ceart síochánta ar chomhraic san Eoraip agus lasmuigh di. Creidtear dúinn go gcaithfidh an an tAontas méadaithe tosaíochtaí úra a bheith aige i leith na bochtaineachta laistigh dá theorannacha agus an dóigh gur féidir críoch a chur léi. San áireamh i measc na dtosaíochtaí úra sin caithfear athchóiriú agus athneartú a dhéanamh ar na Náisiúin Aontaithe le ceartas agus síocháin a chur ar aghaidh ar fud an domhain ina iomlán.

"Teastaíonn uainn, chomh maith, go mbeidh an tAontas Eorpach ina pháirtíocht de stáit chothromacha. Táimid in éadan iarrachtaí reatha atá ar siúl ollstát a dhéanamh as an Aontas nó ollchumhacht mhíliteach nó eacnamaíoch a dhéanamh as toisc gur milis dúinn ceannas na hÉireann agus neodracht na hÉireann. Tá a fhios againn go dtugann an tAontas clú do chlár polaitiúil na mórstát, dóibh siúd nár toghadh iad agus don ollghnó. Ach, is féidir é sin a athrú agus caithfear é a athrú. Mar chuid den mhéid seo, beidh dul-i-ngleic leathan ar siúl againn i bpróiseas agus i ndíospóireacht chomhairleach faoi Bhunreacht an Aontais Eorpaigh amach anseo.

"Le linn na tréimhse chúig bliana atá romhainn :

  • Oibreoidh muid ar son athaontú agus neamhspleáchas na hÉireann.
  • Oibreoidh muid ar son athchóiriú an AE a thugann cumhacht ar ais don phobal.
  • Rachaidh muid ar fheachtas ar son na neodrachta agus an dímhílitithe san Eoraip.
  • Seasfaidh muid ar son bhealach uileÉireannach in ábhair eacnamaíochta agus shóisialta, le lámh ghníomhach chuidithe ón Aontas Eorpach.
  • Oibreoidh muid ar son athbheochaint thalmhaíocht na hÉireann agus ar son na bpobal tuaithe ar bhonn uileÉireannach.
  • Beidh tosaíochtaí úra á lorg againn do pholasaithe an Aontais - cealú na bochtaineachta, cruthú na fostaíochta agus tacaíocht do na seirbhísí poiblí san áireamh.
  • Rachaidh muid ar fheachtas ar son dlí agus pholasaí uileAontas le meas a bheith acu ar dhaoine agus le comhionannas agus ceartais daonna a chur ar aghaidh.
  • Rachaidh muid ar fheachtas ar son aitheantas a bhronnadh ar an Ghaeilge mar theanga oifigiúil oibre san AE.
  • Tógfaidh múid cairdis pholaitiúla le páirtithe ar aon intinn linn féin agus leis an tsochaí shibhialta in Éirinn agus ar fud na hEorpa leis na haidhmeanna seo a chur chun cinn." Críoch.

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