The EU is obsessed with economic growth and increasing military might ahead of other issues like poverty and human rights, it was claimed today.
Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald today unveiled the party’s tri-lingual EU website in English, Irish and French and also announced details of a major conference on the 25-state bloc next month.
The ’Another Europe Is Possible’ event, organised by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left political grouping in the European Parliament, will bring together MEPs, trade union representatives, NGOs and the European Commission representatives in Ireland.
Ms McDonald said: “The conference will address some of the very many inadequacies and inequalities which exist within the EU.
“The EU faces very many challenges in the time ahead, not least addressing its fundamental democratic and communication deficit, the issues of poverty, privatisation and workers’ rights.
“A number of discussions will take place on the day including a focus on the promotion of workers’ rights in the EU at a time when they remain under serious threat.”
Sinn Féin said it hopes the conference will contribute to the debate which is already underway on promoting a radically different EU.
“The present EU is one obsessed with increasing its military capacity, expanding its nuclear stock and prioritising economic growth at the expense of all else,” she added.
“Our vision is one which emphasises the protecton of our environment and people, particularly the most vulnerable within society, and promotes a progressive human rights and equality agenda.
"This remains a challenge for us all.”
Sinn Féin’s tri-lingual EU website will provide information on the party’s policies as well as news, video footage and podcasts from its two MEPs, Ms McDonald and Bairbre de Brun.
Irish is to become an official working language of the EU in January 2007.
Ms McDonald said: “Sinn Féin has always been to the forefront in making use of technology as both education and resource tools.
“The website can contribute to the continuing debate regarding the EU’s fundamental democratic and communication defiit.”
The one-day conference, which is open to the public, will take place in Liberty Hall on September 9 and speakers will include MEP Proinsias De Rossa, Sinn Féin MLA Mitchel McLaughlin and representatives from Siptu, Unison, the ATGWU, the European Anti-Poverty Network and the European Commission Representation in Ireland.