de Brún adresses EU Parliament on PEACE II extension
Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has this evening addressed the European Parliament on the extension of the PEACE programme to the end of 2006. MEPs will tomorrow vote on the extension of PEACE II (Tuesday).
Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said:
"I would like to thank the EU for its ongoing support for the Irish peace process and all those MEPs who are working with us to ensure that the causes of conflict in Ireland are resolved for the good of Ireland, and indeed of Europe as a whole". ENDS
Full text of speech:
Tá suil agam go dtacófar le tuairisc Jim Nicholson, an tseachtain seo le go bhfadaítear comhlíonadh chlár na Síochána go dtí deireadh na bliana 2006. Tá sé tábhachtach go bpróiseálfar an beart seo go gasta le hairgeadas leanúnach a bhaint amach.
In the week that Mr James Nicholson's report comes before us on extending implementation of the PEACE programme to the end of 2006, I would urge my fellow MEPs to support this report. I would also ask you, Mr President, to convey to the Council and Commission our wish that this matter should be processed speedily once Parliament's assent has been secured. This will have an immediate and positive impact upon people and projects at the coalface of peace building in Ireland.
A positive signal from the European Union at this stage of the peace process would be an important recognition of its support for the efforts of those engaged in the arduous ongoing task of conflict resolution. On a practical level also, PEACE Programme funding is vitally important to promoting national reconciliation, social inclusion and peace building.
Of course PEACE funding cannot be allocated on the basis of religious or political affiliation. It must be and can only be allocated on the basis of need.
Commissioner for Regional Policy Danuta Hübner will visit Ireland in the course of 2005. This will give her an opportunity to see first hand the benefits that have flowed from the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation and the International Fund for Ireland. It would also be an opportune time to make the case for a future Peace III programme from 2007 to 2013 which would assist in consolidating the peace process.
Ba mhaith le Sinn Féin buíochas a ghabháil leis an AE as a thacaíocht leanúnach do phróiséas síochána na hÉireann chomh maith leis na Feisirí Eorpacha eile a n-oibríonn linn lena chinntiú go socrófar cúiseanna na coimhlinte in Éirinn ar mhaithe linn uilig.
Sinn Fein would like to thank the EU for its ongoing support for the Irish peace process and all those MEPs who are working with us to ensure that the causes of conflict in Ireland are resolved for the good of Ireland, and indeed of Europe as a whole.
Sinn Fein has lobbied hard for the extension of this EU support and both myself and my colleague Mary Lou McDonald MEP, urge the European Parliament to continue helping in this regard.