Sinn Fein launches referendum campaign

by Democrat reporter

SINN FEIN this week launched its campaign on the proposed EU constitution, setting out 13 clear reasons why the party would be working "vigourously" for a no vote on both sides of the Irish border.

Launching the campaign in Dublin, Sinn Fein MEP Mary Lou McDonald warned that the proposed constitution would transform the EU from a body of co-operating member states into an embryonic federal state with its own legally binding constitution.

“It deepens the democratic deficit, further concentrating power in the hands of the few at the expense of national parliaments and ordinary people. It undermines neutrality, and seeks to transform the EU into a global superpower, with its own foreign minister, army and armanents agency. It copperfastens the right wing economic agenda which has dominated EU policy for over a decade and seeks to extend such policies to public services and international trade agreements, undermining welfare provision and global justice priorities.

"It offers no new or meaningful social or human rights protections to citizens of member states, yet significantly increases the power and scope for undemocratic bodies such as the EU Commission and Council, in crucial areas of policy such as international relations, defence, criminal justice, trade, and the internal market.

“This is a critical referendum for everyone on this island. It has huge implications for the future and the debate needs to start now.” Promising a vigourous campaign of opposition on both sides of the border, party president Gerry Adams insisted that the proposed constitution was not in the interests of the people of Ireland. He urged all sections of public opinion, particularly trade unionists, community organisations, human rights groups and supporters of other political parties to join with Sinn Fein in opposing it.

Adams also called on the government to publish its referendum proposals as quickly as possible, set out plans for a fair and balanced debate based on facts and to give an assurance that it would respect the decision of the electorate.

“The debate on the EU constitution is not between pro and anti Europeans. It is a debate over different visions for the future of the EU," said the Sinn Fein leader. "Sinn Féin wants to see an EU that promotes sustainable growth, environmental protection, social and economic equality, human rights and global justice.”

13 reasons to reject the EU constitution

  • It lays the legal foundations for a federal Europe
  • It deepens the democratic deficit
  • It significantly increases in the powers of the European Council and Commission
  • It undermines of national sovereignty, national parliaments and the rights of citizens
  • It will end neutrality for Ireland and other member states
  • It promotes a policy of substantial militarisation
  • It provides for single foreign policy, defence policy and EU foreign minister
  • It promotes the centralisation of economic control in the hands of the Council and Commission
  • It contains a clear constitutional commitment to a free market neo-liberal economic model
  • It promotes an economic model that will deepen existing levels of poverty and social exclusion within the EU
  • It will undermine the ability of member states to provide public services
  • The Charter of Fundamental Rights has no mechanisms for ensuring compliance, and does not add to the promotion of human rights or equality for citizens
  • It promotes policies in relation to the developing world that will deepen the levels of global inequality, poverty and instability

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This document was last modified by David Granville on 2005-05-19 14:16:11.
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