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Alternative voices must be represented on IGC - McDonald

11 July, 2007


At a discussion on the forthcoming EU Inter Governmental Conference (IGC) during a meeting of the European parliamentary group of which Sinn Féin is a member (GUE/NGL), Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald commented that "At this stage the Reform Treaty appears to be a hasty attempt by the European elite to complete the EU Constitution project." The IGC will begin the process of negotiating the repackaged EU Constitution now renamed the Reform Treaty on 23 July.

At the meeting in Strasbourg Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald said:

"Controversial language has been replaced in a veiled attempt to address concerns that the EU is moving towards a superstate status. Constitution has been replaced with Treaty. The Foreign Minister is now to be a High Representative. Laws are to be replaced with Directives and Regulations.

"The new provisions for security and defence policy contained within the original EU Constitution are to remain in the draft Treaty.

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared last month that the new Treaty was more social yet in the same breath said the bulk of the EU Constitution had remained intact. This central contradiction will be of critical importance to millions of European citizens whom have campaigned for an alternative European model to the one proposed within the EU Constitution.

"Within the IGC the European Parliament will be represented by only 3 members who will most likely come from the largest European parliamentary groupings, all of whom supported the original EU Constitution. Sinn Féin is calling for a more substantial representation of the parliament which must include voices in favour of an alternative vision for Europe.

"At this stage the Reform Treaty appears to be a hasty attempt by the European elite to complete the EU Constitution project, without having to put the document to a referendum in a number of member states. As Ireland must put each Treaty to a referendum we as an electorate are in a hugely advantageous position to use our voice to positively influence the future of Europe." CRíOCH

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