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EU failing to protect most vulnerable in society - Bairbre de Brún MEP

4 November, 2004


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún, reacting today to a report on the European Union's implementation of the Lisbon Agenda, has commented that the "European Union is failing to protect the most vulnerable people within society".

Former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok headed up a review of the Lisbon Agenda and presented a report of the Lisbon strategy to the European Commission. The Lisbon Agenda aims to establish the EU as the world's most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010.

Speaking today, Ms de Brún said:

"The report released on the Lisbon Agenda and presented to the European Commission yesterday, paints a bleak and depressing picture of the EU economic plan. The social inclusion aspects of the Lisbon Agenda have been undermined and largely ignored in favour of a privatisation agenda and an approach that sees competitiveness only being achieved at the expense of workers' rights.

"The reality remains that approximately 68 million people within the newly enlarged EU live in poverty and face social exclusion. The European Union is failing to protect the most vulnerable people within our society - this is a scathing indictment of the Lisbon Agenda and its priorities.

"Sinn Féin has consistently called for a refocusing of the priorities of the Lisbon Agenda and calls for the mid-term review of the strategy in 2005 to refocus the policy on sustainable economic development, full employment and social protections. " ENDS

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