Irish presidency should inject social thinking into EU: Reilly
Sinn Fein’s EU spokesperson Senator Kathryn Reilly had said that the upcoming Irish presidency should be used to inject a social angle into the EU’s thinking.
Senator Reilly was speaking after Minister of State, Lucinda Creighton TD outlined, to the Oireachtas’ EU Affairs Committee, her priorities for Ireland’s presidency which begins in January 2013.
“I am disappointed by the lack of government focus on social issues in our upcoming presidency. We hear a lot about reaching the research and competition targets in the Europe 2020 strategy, but what of the social target of 20 million fewer people living in poverty or at risk of poverty and social exclusion in 2020?
“I asked the minister today to name a single socially progressive piece of legislation that the government would champion during its presidency but she failed to name one.
“It is understandable that the economic crisis is at the forefront of the EU’s collective mind but the social challenges such as fighting poverty and promoting social inclusion, cannot be jettisoned and deserve to be more than footnotes.
“For too many people now the EU is simply about banks, markets and bailouts. There should be more emphasis on the untapped EU potential to complement national policies for the creation of a more equal society.