An agenda for change
An agenda for change

By Bairbre de Brun
Sinn Féin candidate for Six County EU election

Is tráthúil an ócáid í seo do Shinn Féin. Tá deis ann anois Feisirí Eorpacha Shinn Féin ar fud an oileáin a thoghadh do Pharlaimint na hEorpa.

Is clár athraithe é clár Shinn Féin. Teastaíonn uainn an clár sin a thógáil go croílar na hEorpa le próiséas na síochána a chur ar aghaidh, leis an chlár uile-Éireannach a chur ar aghaidh agus le hÉire chothrom laistigh den Eoraip chothrom a thógeail. Teastaionn uainn, fosta, oscailteacht, trédhearcacht agus réalachas a chothu in institiúidí na hEorpa do ghnáth mhuintir na hÉireann.

This election marks an important point for Sinn Féin. It holds out the opportunity to elect Sinn Féin MEPs from across the island to the European Parliament.

Sinn Féin’s agenda is one of change. We want to bring that agenda to the heart of Europe to promote the peace process; to further the all-Ireland agenda; to build an Ireland of equals in a Europe of equals and to make the EU institutions more open, more transparent and more real to ordinary people across the island.

Sinn Féin wants to be in there playing our part. We want to support and enhance those aspects of the EU which are good for people and we want to play a part in changing those things which are not. Our agenda for change is positive, progressive and rooted in the belief that the EU must work in the interests of ordinary people, and not solely the larger states or interest groups.

This is a time of great change for Europe. Sinn Féin has welcomed the enlargement of the EU from 15 to 25 member states and we want to make the most of the opportunities which this new reality offers us.

Sinn Féin has have actively engaged in the debate around CAP reform and advocated an expanded programme of rural regeneration.

We have campaigned for a complete reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. We will continue to put the needs of our rural and fishing communities at the heart of our work.

We have lobbied London, Dublin and Brussels and mobilised the community sector in order to secure continued financial support for peace building and conflict resolution. This work will continue.

Sinn Féin are concerned that 68 million people across the EU live in poverty, that inequality and discrimination remain a feature of life for many, that homelessness, racism and prejudice define many peoples’ lives.

We want to play our part in confronting and combating these realities at home and across the EU.

We want an EU that protects workers’ rights and promotes equality for wo-men, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and the lesbian and gay community.

We want an EU that promotes and protects social and economic as well as civil and political rights for all.

We want to see the Irish language given its proper status as an official working language of the EU.

Sinn Féin also believes that as a major player on the world stage, the EU must lead by example and play a role in developing a global social and trade justice agenda, eliminating developing world debt, protecting human rights and bringing about an end to conflict.

Is é seo clár leathan, dearfach, leanúnach an pháirtí le hathruithe a bhaint amach.

Tá sé in am don Eoraip guth úr a bheith inti, guth úr uile-Éireannach. Tá sé in am dúinn guth Shinn Féin a bheith san Eoraip.

This is Sinn Féin’s broad ranging, positive and progressive agenda for change.

It is time for a new voice in Europe, an all-Ireland voice in Europe. It is time for a Sinn Féin voice in Europe.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News