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Workers rights to top agenda at major conference on future of 'Social Europe'

8 September, 2006

Sinn Féin will hold a major one day EU conference on the future of 'Social Europe' in Liberty Hall in Dublin tomorrow, Saturday September 9th. Among those addressing the conference 'Another Europe is Possible' are Mary Lou McDonald MEP, Bairbre de Brún MEP, Proinsias De Rossa MEP, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA, Brendan Hayes (SIPTU), Patricia Mc Keown (Unison), Mick O Reilly (ATGWU), Phillip O'Connor (European Anti Poverty Network) and Martin Territt (European Commission Representation in Ireland).

  10.30am    Opening remarks 10.45am    Workers Rights in the EU 12 noon     The future of Social Europe 2.45pm      MEPs debate   Speaking in advance of the event Ms McDonald said:

"The future direction of the European Union is growing increasingly uncertain.  In the last twelve months the EU has lurched from crisis to crisis.  The rejection of the Constitution by France and the Netherlands; the erosion of workers rights and the social model have all taken their toll. 

"The EU faces very many challenges in the time ahead. Tomorrow's conference will discuss some of these  including a focus on the promotion of workers' rights in the EU at a time when they remain under serious threat.

"Other issues under discussion will include the 'Future of Social Europe' and will culminate with a debate between myself and Pronsias de Rossa MEP on the premise that 'Another Europe is Possible'.

"It is hoped that this conference will add to the debate which is already under way on promoting a radically different EU. The present EU is one obsessed with increasing its military capacity, expanding its nuclear stock and prioritizing economic growth at the expense of all else. Our vision is one which emphasizes the protection of our environment and people - particularly the most vulnerable within society and promotes a progressive human rights and equality agenda. This remains a challenge for us all. " ENDS

Attendance is open to both the public and media.

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