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Sinn Féin oppose use of taxpayers money solely to promote EU Constitution - Bairbre de Brún

16 March, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today questioned the decision by the European Parliament's Budgetary Committee to spend eight million euros to promote a one sided information campaign on the EU Constitution. According to administration at the European Parliament the campaign would 'explain to the public how the Constitution will benefit them in their everyday lives.'

Ms de Brún said that whilst Sinn Féin 'would welcome a balanced information campaign on the EU Constitution, we are opposed to taxpayers money being used in a partisan and one-sided manner.' Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"Sinn Féin would welcome any campaign by the European Parliament which would effectively communicate the contents of the EU Constitution to the public. After all, the Constitution document is over 300 pages in length and will have far-reaching consequences for EU member states in crucial areas such as democracy, sovereignty, militarisation and public service provision.

"However, the decision by the European Parliament to spend 8 million euros for a purely pro - Constitution campaign is deeply troubling. Both the European Commission and many within the European Parliament are intent on using this money for the sole purpose of selling their view of the European Constitution.

"I would also be concerned that this biased campaign may be in contravention of 26 County Referendum law and I intend exploring this matter in the near future.

"Sinn Féin will oppose attempts to 'buy' the public with a glitzy PR campaign to sell this Constitution. Instead we want to see a balanced presentation of the European Constitution, so that citizens can make up their own minds on the acceptability or unacceptability of the document." ENDS

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