Irish Republican News · December 10, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
SF looks to extend electoral success to Europe

Sinn Fein has launched its candidates for next year's European elections.

Party president Gerry Adams said building on the party's success in the assembly elections and the general elections, Sinn Fein has, for the first time, a real opportunity to secure their first ever representation in the European parliament.

Mr Adams said they were putting forward a clear demand for an all-Ireland approach towards the European Union and its institutions.

``The next six months will see the Irish government taking over the presidency of the European Union. It is an important time for debate and consultation.

``For example, the proposed changes in EU structures and institutions envisaged under the new constitution pose a significant challenge for us and there is an opportunity for Sinn Fein and others to clearly explain why we don't want an EC that is a military or economic superpower.

``We do want an EU that can be a model for democracy and justice,'' Mr Adams said.

Sinn Fein's European candidates are Marylou McDonald (Dublin), Bairbre de Brun (Six Counties), John Dwyer (East), David Cullinane (South), and Pearse Doherty (North West).

Ms McDonald detailed a 13-point plan of proposed priorities for Ireland's six month Presidency of the EU.

She called on the Dublin government to make the drive for social justice and poverty eradication the main focus of its Presidency ``and ultimately its legacy''.

Sh called for the Presidency to be used ``to promote and pursue the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals and the eradication of poverty within EU borders and beyond.

``We are also calling for the introduction of Human Rights Proofing in relation to all EU law and policies focusing particularly on recent so-called anti-terrorist measures adopted by the Union, and the proposed Common Migration and Asylum Policies.''

The following are the party's `top 13 recommendations':

  • Initiate a Global Social Justice Agenda (Dublin Agenda) equivalent to the Lisbon Agenda whose priorities would include UN reform, fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals including Developing Country Debt Cancellation
  • Initiate a process of Human Rights Proofing of all EU policies
  • Seriously address the problems caused for particular Member States by the fact that some States are in and some are out of the euro-zone.
  • Address the need for a renegotiation of the Stability and Growth Pact in order to allow member states to deal effectively with the specific problems facing their economies.
  • Ensure that the CAP reform proposal agreed at Luxembourg in June is fully implemented including full decoupling; and ensure that the accession states enter the CAP on an equal basis.
  • To establish a full range of complementary rural development programmes to aid farmers and rural communities in adapting to the changes brought about by the CAP reform.
  • Put complete reform of the Common Fisheries Policy on the EU agenda
  • Campaign to make the EU a GM-Free Zone
  • Reduction of emissions on an EU wide basis
  • Campaign against the privatisation agenda of the European Union in the Lisbon Agenda and for the defence of public services
  • Push for the EU-wide upwards harmonisation of workers rights, including trade union recognition, workers health and safety and protections for temporary and migrant workers.
  • Push for further EU equal rights instruments including a specific Gender Equality Directive and a Disability Directive while prioritizing commitments to eradicate poverty and homelessness within the EU
  • Ensure that Irish is recognised as an official and working language of the EU.

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© 2003 Irish Republican News