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EU summit unsuccessful for ordinary people of Europe – Ó Snodaigh

27 June, 2007


Sinn Féin International Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said the recent EU Summit has not been a success for ordinary people across Europe. Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said the summit further weakened EU democracy and smaller member-states in particular are further marginalised. Deputy Ó Snodaigh also said Ireland's neutrality will be further undermined as we move further towards a militarised European Union.

He said, "The EU summit has not been a success for ordinary people across Europe. The summit decided to rename the EU Constitution a 'reform treaty'. Some of the more obvious symbols of statehood have been removed, but make no mistake, the so-called 'reform treaty' is the EU Constitution in all but name. It has been taken off the shelf, dusted off, repackaged, and put on special offer - no referendum necessary.

"This is the same package that has already been rejected by the people of France and the Netherlands. But the people of those countries are not going to be asked again whether they want it. They are being told they can like it or lump it.

"The EU summit failed spectacularly to deal with any of the real issues and concerns of people across Europe. EU democracy is further weakened, and smaller member-states in particular are further marginalised. We will get an EU President we don't want. We will get an EU Foreign Minister, albeit with a different title. And we will lose our right to a Commissioner.

"The Oireachtas will lose its role to decide on a whole new range of policy areas, to add to the difficulties we already have in influencing EU policy in its current areas of competence. Our neutrality will be further undermined as we slip further towards a militarised European Union. And the Treaty will do nothing to address issues of global inequality and poverty or to uphold the international rule of law.

"At the up-coming Inter-Governmental Conference Sinn Féin believes the Government must pursue a right to opt-out on state-aid provisions in order to overcome the legacy of partition and to build a vibrant all-Ireland economy. The state-aid provisions are overly restrictive making it impossible for member states to make use of redistributive tools such as targeted state funding to full effect in order to achieve objectives such as balanced regional development e.g. addressing infrastructure deficits in the border region - even where an overwhelming democratic mandate for such measures exists.

"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. Unfortunately this is not what is on offer. Instead the EU elite has chosen to run away from the people. But this government cannot run away, much as they might like to. They have a date with the people in a referendum. And before that referendum people need to examine the Treaty in detail and debate its implications fully." ENDS

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