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McDonald - EU proposals designed to subvert democracy

19 September, 2003


Sinn Féin Dublin European Parliament candidate Marylou McDonald has called on the Irish Government and EU power brokers to "listen to the citizens of Europe and not dilute their right to vote in the forthcoming EU constitution treaty referenda".

She was speaking after unnamed commission officials told the Financial Times this week that the ratification process might take 12 or 18 months because States that register a No vote will be sent back to the polls "twice, even three times". Then recalcitrant states are to be faced with a new referendum asking them "do you want to leave the EU"?

Ms McDonald said:

"As the dust settles on the Swedish euro referendum result and the EU Inter Governmental Conference (IGC) in early October looms, it seems to be business as usual for the EU and the Commission in how they deal with the exercising of democracy by EU voters.

"Unnamed commission officials told the Financial Times this week that the ratification process for the new EU Constitution Treaty might take 12 or 18 months because States that register a No vote will be sent back to the polls "twice, even three times". Then recalcitrant states will face a new referendum asking them "do you want to leave the EU"?

"This is an appalling abuse of the rights and concerns of EU voters and is something that caused a lot of anger in Ireland last year.

"The EU as an institution has shown itself not just unwilling to be transparent and accountable but unwilling to reform and now it is actively planning to subvert the electoral rights of the citizens of its 25 member states.

"With the IGC and the Irish presidency of the EU just months away the government has an onerous responsibility to stand up and say no to the EU mandarins. They cannot be allowed to dilute our democratic rights any further." ENDS

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