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Sinn Féin calls for NO vote on EU Constitution

31 March, 2005

Speaking today Sinn Féin Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP called on Irish voters to reject the proposed EU Constitution in forthcoming referenda in 2005 and 2006. She said that the debate was not between 'pro and anti Europeans' but between 'different visions for the future of the EU.' Ms McDonald said:

"The debate on the EU Constitution is not between pro and anti Europeans. It is a debate over different visions for the future of the EU.

"Sinn Féin wants to see an EU that promotes sustainable growth, environmental protection, social and economic equality, human rights and global justice. Since last years EU elections Sinn Féin has been to the forefront of the ongoing campaigns for an alternative vision of the EU which is democratic, accountable and which operates in the interests of ordinary people.

"We have carefully studied the text of the proposed Constitution and have found it wanting on many grounds. It deepens the democratic deficit, further concentrating power in the hands of the few at the expense of national parliaments and ordinary people. It undermines neutrality, and seeks to transform the EU into a global superpower, with its own Foreign Minister, army and armanents agency. It copperfastens the right wing economic agenda which has dominated EU policy for over a decade and seeks to extend such policies to public services and international trade agreements, undermining welfare provision and global justice priorities.

"It offers no new or meaningful social or human rights protections to citizens of member states, yet significantly increases the power and scope for undemocratic bodies such as the EU Commission and Council, in crucial areas of policy such as International Relations, defence, criminal justice, trade, and the internal market.

"The proposed EU Constitution is not in the interests of Irish people. It is not in the interests of any member state. Indeed the Constitution is not in the interests of the EU itself.

"On this basis Sinn Féin will be vigorously opposing the Constitution in the two referenda which will take place in Ireland in 2005 and 2006. We urge all sections of public opinion, particularly those in trade unions, community organisations, human rights groups as well as supporters of other political parties to join with us in opposing this Constitution."ENDS

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