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Time to rein in the European Commission

7 March, 2014 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Speaking today Sinn Féin Euro candidate Lynn Boylan has said that “the time has come to rein in the European Commission.”

Her comments come as the European Peoples Party meets to select their candidate for the Commissions top job.

Ms Boylan said:

“There has been a lot of talk recently about the personalities involved in the race for the next European Commission president.

“While the European Parliament has been given a nominal role in ratification of the candidate, the real decision will continue to be taken in private by the European Council.

“Ultimately the choice will come down to a centre right pro-austerity candidate or a centre left pro-austerity candidate.

“Some commentators are suggesting that the public selection of candidates for this powerful post constitutes a meaningful reform. The reality is very different.

“The European Commission has too much power. It is completely independent and unaccountable to any elected body.

“The lack of accountability and transparency in the Commission is one of the key factors in the growing levels of public mistrust of the EU institutions

“With each round of Treaty change the power and influence of the Commission has grown.

“The two pack and six pack regulations and the Austerity Treaty have given it even greater power.

“Yet it remains a deeply undemocratic institution.

“Irish people know only too well the impact of European Commission policy. For three years they were allowed by Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour to trample over the social and economic rights of the majority of Irish people.

“The policies they promoted via the Troika have damaged the domestic economy, undermined our social infrastructure, increased levels of poverty and deprivation and led to massive emigration and unaccountably high levels of youth and long term unemployment.

“It is time to reign in the Commission. Sinn Féin believes that it is time for a radical reform of this key EU institution.

“In the coming weeks we will launch our detailed proposals for the reform of the Commission. These will deal with its Treaty mandate, its functions, its relationship with the European and member state parliaments and its policy focus.

“The superficial focus of the EPP’s selection convention this week demonstrates that, just like Fine Gael in the domestic arena, they have no real interest is meaningful reform.”


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