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McDonald outlines expectations of new EU Treaty

21 June, 2007


As heads of state and government meet in Brussels to decide what to do with the EU Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald commented "the people of Europe do not want the reheated leftovers of the EU Constitution, they want a European Union that is more democratic and which prioritises people over profit".

Speaking from Strasbourg as EU leaders gather in Brussels Ms McDonald said:

"I welcome the fact the EU leaders have dropped the idea of a constitution and are now talking about a "reform treaty". But the name of the document is less important than its content. The new treaty needs to outline how the European Union can serve their interests.

"However, all the early indications are that the EU leaders are engaged in a cosmetic exercise to cynically allow certain member states avoid putting the new treaty to a referendum. Most likely they will extend the summit beyond its deadline to create a sense of crisis and then show how they have arrived at a hard-won compromise which should not be questioned or challenged.

"The people of Europe do not want the reheated leftovers of the EU Constitution, they want a European Union that is more democratic and which prioritises people over profit.

"Any new treaty should address issues such as guaranteeing primacy in law-making to national parliaments, respecting neutrality and halting the slide towards militarisation. It should recognise the rights of member states to make their own economic choices in the best interests of their people and in order to tackle poverty and social exclusion.

"The EU should add to the promotion of human rights and equality for citizens and should enhance the ability of member states to provide public services, rather than commercialising and liberalising them.

"And the EU should address issues of global inequality and poverty and uphold the international rule of law.

"These are some of the yardsticks by which we will judge the outcome of the EU summit. We hope we will not be disappointed."

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