“Irish Government must defend seat quota in Europe” Sinn Féin MEP Anderson
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has expressed her disappointment at the Constitutional Affairs Committee (CAC) of the EU Parliament who voted to take an MEP away from the 26 Counties at the next European election.
Speaking after the vote in the CAC, Martina Anderson said:
"I am disappointed at the decision of the CAC in voting to take an MEP away from the 26 Counties at the next European election. The Irish government and the Taoiseach need to work to have this vote overturned when it comes before the European Council for formal proposal in March.
"Today’s vote at the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Parliament creates an even greater imbalance in the influence of different member states in the European Union. The increasing use of population numbers to vote in the Council of Ministers as well as for deciding on the number of MEPs has seen the South lose out in successive reviews of voting weights in the EU.
"There needs to be a rebalancing of the influence of member states in order to bring about a Europe of equals.
"The first step in this is for the Irish government and Irish MEPs including those of us in the North to step up to the plate, work together and lobby to have this vote overturned when it comes before the European Council for formal proposal in March. Working together we can achieve better results for the whole island. But the primary responsibility for avoiding the loss of a seat lays with the Irish government and in particular the Taoiseach.
Note to editors:
In 2004 the number of MEPs from the south of Ireland was reduced from 15 to 13. In 2009 that went down to 12 seats. For the third successive time it is proposed that Southern Ireland loses a seat in the European Parliament reducing its representation to 11. Regardless of the advice of the European Parliament as represented in this vote, the European Council in March will have to make a formal proposal on the distribution of seats.