Ní Riada lays out the crucial issues facing Europe's Budgets Commissioner
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada spoke extensively this evening at the hearing for Europe's Budget Commissioner-Designate Kristalina Georgieva.
Ní Riada highlighted to Georgieva numerous examples of the effects of painful austerity budgets in Ireland
"In Ireland we are experiencing an unsustainable situation with our coastal communities who rely on fishing now bordering near extinction and yet we see more cuts to this vital sector being proposed for 2015.
"It is evident that certain Member States are facing even more dramatic economical and financial difficulties. For example In Ireland 200 people are emigrating every day that is 8 Irish per hour are forced to leave their country. The people emigrating are young and well educated people. This is a brain drain, our future is being jeopardised.
"Further austerity is causing incredible hardship to those who are particularly poverty stricken. We see now our children unable to avail of funds for education. There are 16000 people alone in the County of Kerry going to food banks and we see the return of soup kitchens in our Universities. 1 in 5 of our children lives in poverty, and this just one example of many countries again targeted for further unsustainable cuts."
You come from Bulgaria, and are well aware of the role the European funds can play to ease these situations."
Ní Riada asked of Georgieva:
"What do you concretely propose to tackle the issue of the dramatic growing disparities between EU Member States? How can you ensure us that investment on the creation of jobs and growth will in fact be prioritised? "
Ní Riada also raised the issue of humanitarian aid and crisis response from Europe.
"We seem to be drifting away from commitments to peace and sustainable development and towards a securitarian, militarized pursuit. Taking account of your extensive experience in this area, what concrete proposals to you have to ensure that the EU commits itself to the real processes of peace building, and in your role, how will you ensure that those people that are victims of horrendous acts will receive adequate levels of humanitarian aid?"
Speaking after the hearing Ní Riada praised Georgieva for her previous humanitarian work and was hopeful that this would influence her in making wise and fair decisions in the distribution of EU funds.