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Future of EU cannot involve transfer of powers to a Federal Europe – Boylan

1 March, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Speaking this afternoon ahead of European Commission President Jean Claude Junker’s presentation of a White Paper on the Future of the European Union, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has stated that the future developments of the EU cannot involve the further transfer of sovereign powers to Brussels and the creation of a Federal Europe.

MEP Boylan said:

“The 37-page White Paper on the Future of the European Union due to be presented today by President Junker outlines what he sees as the five ways forward for the EU, ‘carrying on’, ‘nothing but the single market’, ‘those who want more do more’, ‘doing less more efficiently’, and ‘doing much more together’.

“There is no doubt that change is needed within the European Union, but President Junker’s plan does not focus on the main issues of contention for European citizens. There is no vision for the reorganisation of the EU institutional set-up, neither is there any suggestions of how to address the fundamentally undemocratic nature of those institutions. The paper claims that this is deliberate as the form should follow the function.

“This is the not how the future of the EU should be set out, you cannot put forward a plan that only focuses on a composite part of the narrative. If debate is going to ensue among European citizens and politicians on the future of the union, then we need to debate the EU as a whole. We need to focus on the form as well as the function.  

“The fact that we are told Mr Juncker only briefed his team of Commissioners on this initiative last week before summoning them for an extraordinary meeting two days ago to discuss these matters is in itself symptomatic of all that is wrong with the EU. Backroom deals and deeper and deeper concentration of decision making in the hands of fewer and fewer unaccountable individuals.

“The scope to work together and improve the functioning of the EU exists within the powers, rightly or wrongly, already transferred, although Sinn Fein would argue that many of those powers should be returned to member states.

“What is certainly not required is the further transfer of sovereign powers to Brussels. The EU needs to use its current powers to deliver the positive change for European citizens within their remit, and where possible and appropriate, help Member States.

“In times of such political flux, there is a danger that the simplistic narrative that a Federal Europe can ameliorate the ills of the union will prevail, in spite of many recent studies showing a majority of EU citizens do not support the transfer of more powers to Brussels.

“There is no doubt that debate is needed on the current failures of the EU and how it should function into the future, but in order for that to happen the conversation needs to be had amongst citizens in the Member States, not in Brussels.” 

Note: Please see attached the draft White Paper

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