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European Parliament should never supersede role of national parliaments -- McDonald

30 November, 2006

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today participated in a National Forum on Europe debate where she said that 'the European Parliament should not be allowed to become a legislative substitute for the national parliament'.

Today's event at Dublin Castle was addressed by the President of the European Parliament Mr Josep Borrell Fontelles on the theme "The European Parliament - an answer to the democratic deficit question?"

Speaking today Ms McDonald said: "I am pleased that Mr Josep Borrell addressed today's session of the National Forum of Europe in Dublin. All of this is a positive contribution to the wider debate on the future of Europe and I welcome the continuing debate on this matter.

"Today's session dealt specifically with the current and future role of the European Parliament. Sinn Féin believes that whilst the European Parliament is more accountable than the European Commission, tackling the democratic deficit will not be achieved by giving it superiority over national parliaments or through its development into the parliament of an embryonic European super-state.

"Over time, the institutions of the European Union have gradually increased their powers and remit, the European Commission in particular. Sinn Féin believes that giving some of the vast powers currently held by the unelected European Commission to the parliament would be a step forward in terms of accountability.

"I also want to take this opportunity to reiterate my calls for the Parliament to permanently locate its political business solely in Brussels and the abolition of the Strasbourg sessions. It is not viable that this relocation which occurs twelve times a year consumes approximately 15% to 20% of the European Parliament's 1,272 million euro annual budget."


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