4 July 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Co Cork based Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said the European Union must change if it is to survive.
The Ireland South MEP made the comments at a debate in Cork on the future of the EU after Brexit.
“Over the past two decades we have seen a constant attack on the social side of Europe and the further entrenchment of a neo-liberal and undemocratic, some would say anti-democratic, cabal in the heart of the European Union,” she said.
“I welcome the fact that the European Commission has published a white paper on the future of the EU. Finally, in the wake of what some might call its greatest political crisis, the great European bureaucracy, has woken up to the fact that something has to change.
“However, the Commission has missed the point entirely. Commission President Juncker’s paper does not focus on the the main issues of contention for European citizens.
“There is no vision for the reorganisation of the EU institutional set-up, neither is there any suggestions of how to address the fundamentally undemocratic nature of those institutions.
“We are living in an era of huge political, economic and social change and the prospect of division in Europe is once again very real.
“Instead of imagining a new departure for Europe, that puts its peoples and their well-being first, the Commission and the conservative political forces of Europe have retreated to naval gazing and have limited their scope for change to a few tweaks here, or a deceleration there.
“I want to see an EU that is focused on the peoples of Europe rather than the elites of Europe, one where cooperation between countries on education, regional development, environmental protection, energy security and trade displaces the current system of economic diktat and bureaucratic rule.
“If the EU is to survive and win the support of the peoples of Europe it needs to change and it needs to change radically.”