EU needs radical reform - Liadh Ní Riada
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said "Sinn Féin is fighting for Ireland and a radically transformed European Union."
Ms Ní Riada was speaking this morning following the submission of her nomination papers at the offices of Returning Officer, Martin A Harvey.
"Sinn Féin is challenging the status quo in the EU. The political purpose of Sinn Féin MEPs is to champion Ireland's interests in the European Union not the interests of the European Union in Ireland. That is what I have been doing for the past five years and that is what I intend to continue doing if re-elected by the people of Ireland South.
"This means fighting for progressive policies that make a big difference in the lives of citizens. It also means advocating for regional development strategies that are properly balanced between urban and rural areas to ensure sustainable economic growth and a proactive approach to climate change.
"We need a European Union that works for ordinary people instead of a system of winners and losers where the wealthy and big corporations are always at the front of queue. The bolstering and advancement of workers’ rights and opposing the casualisation of labour must be central to this work.
"The EU needs more democracy, not less. We need to see a return of powers to member states, not the centralisation of power in the Commission. The lack of democracy in the EU is what frustrates and angers so many people, not just in Ireland but also in other countries.
"Equally, we need to stop the growing militarisation of the EU and the push for an EU army. It is critical important that Irish neutrality is defended. We cannot stand by as €13 billion is spent on arms when this money could be going to social programmes that better the lives of citizens.
"Sinn Féin's vision for Ireland and the European Union is a vision of human rights and justice. We are fighting for a society in which nobody is left behind and where everybody has access to the basics necessary for a decent life and where everybody has a fair share in the fruits of progress."