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‘Europe is at the crossroads’ – Kearney tells GUE/NGL Leadership meeting

6 November, 2018 - by Declan Kearney

Sinn Féin’s Declan Kearney, today told a meeting of the leaderships of the political parties within the GUE/NGL (European United Left/Nordic Green Left) group in the European Parliament that Europe is at the crossroads and that universal values of international fraternity and solidarity are more relevant than ever.

Addressing the meeting in Brussels, the Sinn Féin National Chairperson said:

"Europe is at a crossroads.

“The political direction, policy orientation and increasing need for reform of the European Union, coupled with, and often fuelling, the rise of the far right, present an existential threat to the principals of the progressive Left.

"The universal values of international fraternity and solidarity; and, of equality and social justice are more relevant today than ever before.

"Our shared strategic project must be to build a new political narrative or common sense based upon core ideas.

“These should include: 

• that economies serve the many not the few: • that human and democratic rights are unalienable: • that our global environment is protected: • that Europe should serve as a force for international peace and security: and, • that racism, sectarianism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia are opposed.

"These ideas should be a common platform for expanding the political strength of the progressive Left.

"We can best do this through political unity.

“In an era where economic models across Europe are geared towards serving the interests of the few, the European Parliament should be an arena to raise the need for democratic control of economies; collective bargaining rights; tax justice; equal pay for equal work; proper union recognition; the elimination of zero-hours contracts; and, precarious working conditions.

"International solidarity remains a fundamental principle at the heart of Sinn Féin’s politics.

"As a delegation we will use the European Parliament as an effective platform to promote support for the people of Palestine.

"We will continue to support the Basque people in their efforts to establish a meaningful peace process and independence.

"We will continue to call for the release of all political prisoners held by the Spanish state, whether Basque or Catalan.

"We believe the people of Catalonia should be supported in determining their own future.

"GUE/NGL can help advance just international causes in the Americas, Africa and Asia.

"This group, operating at its best, provides a fine vehicle for the advancement of progressive politics and the promotion of core values to which we all subscribe.

"We have seen, in this mandate, GUE/NGL develop expertise and conduct pioneering work in relation to the rights of refugees, economic democracy, tax justice, and on Brexit.

"This work involved much collaboration and partnership work with like-minded individuals inside and outside of both GUE/NGL and the European Parliament.

"Such successes can, and should be built on in the future.

"Our shared and collective interests should represent a formidable opposition to those who seek to maintain the status quo and an inspiration for all citizens who seek progressive and democratic change.

“What we win on these terms, is won for all.”

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