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Anderson tells Brussels Uniting Ireland conference we can learn from Germany

12 November, 2013 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Speaking at the close of the Re-Uniting Ireland - Lessons fro Europe conference in Brussels today Martina Anderson Sinn Féin MEP told the participants: "As we know there have been many countries, both within and outside Europe, which suffered forced occupation destroying national and economic sovereignty.  
"Those here today from Germany and Cyprus know only too well the experience of enforced partition.  Whilst in Germany it was the Cold War we in Ireland and Cyprus endured conflict, suppression through occupation.
"The experience of German reunification shows that it is possible to unite a country after many years of division, and that it is possible for the EU to play a role in facilitating unification.
"Turkey's desire to become a member of the EU has potentially provided an impetus for addressing the reunification of Cyprus.  
"Both we in Ireland and our friends in Cyprus can learn lessons from the German experience of reunification.  As we heard today German reunification was not a merger of two states on an equal basis; the reality was that the West subsumed the East.
"That approach is certainly not what Republicans want for Ireland.  I am very clear that the future structures of a New Republic will be decided by all of the people of Ireland - not one section of it.
"The problems caused by the divisions in Germany and Cyprus are different, and both are also different from those of Ireland.  But there are similar themes and approaches from which Ireland can learn."

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