Mary Lou McDonald welcomes funds to raise awareness of EU
Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today welcomed the
announcement by European Affairs Minister Noel Treacy of a scheme to
provide local community groups with funding to promote a greater awareness
of the EU.
The Government today announced that it was making 200,000 euros available
to encourage "positive public debate” about the European Union and its
Speaking today Ms McDonald said:
“I want to welcome today’s decision by the government to provide community
groups with funding to promote a greater understanding of the European
Union and its functions. Any initiative which fosters genuine debate around
the EU is welcome and I would hope that this initiative is part of a
broader exercise by government to communicate effective and impartial
information regarding the EU to Irish citizens.
“Sinn Féin has long called for a meaningful consultation with the Irish
people on this issue. The EU plays an increasingly significant role in
Irish political, economic and social spheres. It has been estimated that
70% of legislation emanating from the Dail originated in Brussels.
"The recent EU Constitution referendum results In France and the
Netherlands highlight the significant gap between the people of Europe and
its institutions. However, initiatives such as these must not become
propaganda slush funds for one opinion or ideology witin the EU. If we are
serious about bridging the democratic deficit then it must take on-board
the thoughts and concerns of a diverse range of alternative opinions.
"Today's announcement can act as the catalyst for wider debate about the
European Union and its political direction and priorities." ENDS