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European Commission blocking answers to Ireland’s water derogation

30 May, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has criticised the EU Commission following their failure to answer a priority written question, due to be responded to 4 weeks ago.

The Dublin MEP said,

‘On April 7th I submitted a priority question to the European Commission to clarify that the derogation from water charging is still available to European Countries. In the EU Water Framework Directive, Article 9 provides for derogation from such charging and I wanted to clarify that this derogation cannot be removed unless the legislation itself has been revised. 

"Priority questions are meant to be answered within three weeks yet over 7 weeks later I am still waiting on a response.

"What concerns me is that I have been informed that the answer to a very straightforward yes/no question has been blocked at Cabinet level for political reasons.  The Commission is clearly aware that a clear cut answer to my question could damage Fine Gael’s attempts to continue its cheerleading efforts for water charges and Irish Water.

"Not only has the Commission missed the deadline to answer our question but the interference at such a high level to block the answer shows an undemocratic willingness to interfere in national issues. 

"Following the tabeling of a private members bill from our Sinn Féin colleagues calling on the Irish Government to immediately abolish domestic water charges and establish a public water and sanitation board to deliver water on the basis of need, I demand that the European Commission stops hiding away and starts providing answers to those with a democratic mandate to hold them to account." ENDS

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