12 July 2012
EU Minister Lucinda Creighton can’t name one social change to champion in EU presidency
'Social challenges, such as fighting poverty and promoting social inclusion, cannot be jettisoned and deserve to be more than footnotes'
EUROPEAN AFFAIRS MINISTER Lucinda Creighton couldn’t name to Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly one single socially progressive piece of legislation that the Government would champion during its EU presidency beginning in January.
Senator Reilly was speaking today after Minister of State Creighton outlined to the Oireachtas EU Affairs Committee her priorities for Ireland’s presidency.
The Sinn Féin senator said the EU has to be about more than bailing out banks. The Irish presidency should include targets reducing the number of people living in poverty as well as research and competition, she said.
“I am disappointed by the lack of Government focus on social issues in our upcoming presidency,” Kathryn Reilly said.
"We hear a lot about reaching the research and competition targets in the Europe 2020 strategy, but what of the social target of 20million fewer people living in poverty or at risk of poverty and social exclusion in 2020?
“I asked the minister today to name a single socially progressive piece of legislation that the Government would champion during its presidency but she failed to name one.
“It is understandable that the economic crisis is at the forefront of the EU’s collective mind but the social challenges, such as fighting poverty and promoting social inclusion, cannot be jettisoned and deserve to be more than footnotes.
“For too many people now, the EU is simply about banks, markets and bail-outs. There should be more emphasis on the untapped EU potential to complement national policies for the creation of a more equal society.”
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