Irish Republican News · June 2, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Building a Europe of Equals
Building a Europe of Equals
The following is an extract from the Sinn Féin manifesto for the EU election, including a message from Gerry Adams.

 

As we prepare to elect our representatives to a new European Union Parliament on the 10th and 11th of June 2004 the people of Ireland are at a crossroads. We are at a critical point in the Irish peace process. If we are to move forward, supporters of the Good Friday Agreement throughout the 32 Counties must use their vote to re-affirm their commitment to the principle set out in the Agreement, that only real change and equality can bring a lasting peace.

This election is also a key moment that will help to determine the future of the EU - and therefore Ireland’s future - for many years to come. Shortly after the election the EU heads of state will again attempt to agree a new treaty establishing for the first time an EU Constitution. This new treaty will subsequently be put to the member states for ratification, including a referendum in the 26 Counties and the first ever EU referendum in the Six Counties. The 10th and 11th of June elections will therefore also be the first opportunity for voters to send a message about whether they are satisfied with the Draft EU Constitution and, if not, what kind of EU they want to be a part of.

Sinn Féin stand for change in the EU. We have a vision for an EU that respects the democratic rights of the people of each member state. We want an EU that promotes equality among people and nations. An EU that works for the just and peaceful resolution of conflicts in Europe and beyond. We believe that the enlarged EU must adopt a new set of priorities including the elimination of poverty within its borders and the reform and strengthening of the United Nations to advance justice and peace in the wider world. The changes we want to see happen at EU level are no different from those we are pursuing here in Ireland.

We also want the EU to become a partnership of equal states. We oppose current attempts to turn the EU into a superstate or a military and economic superpower because we value Irish sovereignty and Irish neutrality. We know that the EU with all its present shortcomings was not inevitable, but reflects the political agenda of the most powerful in the EU at present - the big States, the unelected Eurocracy, and big business. It also reflects a lack of political will to change it. But it can be changed, and it should be changed.

We know that we are not alone, and we will work cooperatively with all progressive forces in Europe and beyond that share our vision.

Sinn Féin is the only all-Ireland party standing candidates in all five constituencies on the island with the ability to win seats on both sides of the border. By electing Sinn Féin representatives, the people of Ireland can have truly national representation in the EU Parliament for the first time.

An all-Ireland team of Sinn Féin MEPs can provide the effective, accountable representation that the Irish people deserve, and we give our commitment to work tirelessly for an Ireland of Equals in a Europe of Equals.

With your support, we look forward to bringing our Agenda for Change to the European stage.

Is mise

GERRY ADAMS MP MLA


BRINGING OUR AGENDA FOR CHANGE TO THE EU

The 2004 European Parliament elections are happening at a crucial juncture in both the Irish peace process and in the development of the EU. The European Union is a more dominant force than ever in the political, economic and social life of Ireland. Sinn Féin has a policy of critical but constructive engagement with the EU. This means we decide to support or oppose the many and complex developments in the EU each on its own merits. We have supported EU and other Europe-wide measures that promote and enhance human rights, equality and the all-Ireland agenda - measures which are an example of the EU at its best, promoting a guarantee of a basic level of rights protection in all member states. But Sinn Féin has also never been afraid to stand up against EU measures damaging to Irish interests.

We want to build a Europe of Equals - a true partnership of equal sovereign states, co-operating in social and economic development in Europe and beyond. We want an EU that promotes peace, demilitarisation and nuclear disarmament and the just resolution of conflicts under the leadership of a reformed, renewed and democratised United Nations. Ultimately, we want a future United Ireland to take an active, leading role in such a reformed EU.

SINN FEIN’S AGENDA FOR CHANGE

Sinn Féin is a campaigning party. We will work cooperatively with others who share our political vision to effect needed social change. Consistent with our republican agenda at home, Sinn Féin’s Agenda for Change at EU level involves actively campaigning for:

* an independent Ireland of Equals in an EU of Equals

* an EU that respects and promotes national, collective and individual rights (including human, political, social, cultural and economic rights)

* an economically and socially just EU, not an EU that is merely another economic superpower

* a demilitarised and nuclear-free EU

* a globally responsible, fair-trading EU that leads the way on reaching the Millennium Development Goals for reducing global poverty by 2015

© 2004 Irish Republican News