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The Equality Agenda must underpin spending of EU money - Bairbre de Brún

8 November, 2005

Speaking today at the EU British Presidency conference on regional and rural development in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún stressed the need to ensure that the drive for competitiveness does not endanger social inclusion.

Ms de Brún said:

"We must ensure that the equality agenda underpins plans for the future use of EU regional and rural development monies. This funding must ensure better opportunities for all.

"We cannot accept an approach that suggests that a rising tide will lift all boats. That same rising tide can often leave the vulnerable swamped, inundated and further marginalised.

"Actions to improve social inclusion, to tackle poverty, to protect the environment, and to ensure balanced regional development must be at the heart of the next cycle of EU regional and rural development funds." ENDS

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