1 July 2014 Edition
An Ireland of equals, in a Europe of equals
Liadh Ní Riada, Lynn Boylan, Matt Carthy and Martina Anderson are MEPs and members of the GUE/NGL Group in the European Parliament
SINN FÉIN’S four MEPs arrived at the European Parliament in Brussels in June for the first time since their election to officially reconstitute the strengthened European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) parliamentary group and agree their political priorities for the upcoming term.
The open and inclusive GUE/NGL group sees equality and mutual respect between all delegations, regardless of their size, based on the principles of co-operation, social progress, peace, solidarity, equality, environment and sustainable development.
The new parliamentary group saw its numbers increase by almost 50% to a total of 52 MEPs. It also became the only gender-balanced group in the European Parliament with 26 women and 26 men MEPs. The group has pledged to continue to fight for gender equality and women’s rights across Europe as well as working with other Left forces to give a strong voice within the European Parliament to the poor, the excluded, the unemployed, the young, and to social movements and workers.
Sinn Féin MEPs say they are determined to use their strong mandate to deliver for the people of Ireland in terms of democratic reform, accountability, transparency, equality and opposition to austerity. Maximising support for the Peace Process and for Irish unity – and promoting the idea of an Ireland of equals in a Europe of equals – is also a top priotity.
In this regard, GUE/NGL also cemented its position as the European Parliament group most committed to conflict resolution with the addition of the Basque Country’s pro-independence EH Bildu MEP, Josu Juaristi.
Germany’s Die Linke MEP, Gabi Zimmer, was re-elected President of the EU parliamentary group. She said:
“Strengthened and including new parties, the GUE/NGL will continue to fight for an immediate end to anti-social austerity policies in Europe and for the reduction and elimination of poverty and unemployment. Millions of voters have given us a clear mandate and we will not disappoint them.”