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Anderson MEP urges awareness of EU 112 Emergency number

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has urged anyone travelling in Europe to familiarize themselves with the EU-wide 112 Emergency number.

Ms Anderson said:

“Every year we hear of holidaymakers finding themselves in emergency situations while vacationing in Europe.

“As we enter that time of year when people are considering holiday destinations I would urge everyone to familiarize themselves with the EU-wide 112 Emergency services number.

“The 112 number was first initiated in 2009 but surveys indicate that less than 30% of Irish people are aware of its existence.

“It can be a terrifying experience to find yourself in a foreign environment trying to deal with an emergency concerning yourself or a loved one and unaware of the quickest way to contact emergency services.

112 is the European emergency phone number, available everywhere in the EU, free of charge.

“It is possible to call 112 from fixed and mobile phones to contact any emergency service: an ambulance, the fire brigade or the police.

“When you dial 112, a specially trained operator will answer the call. Depending on the circumstances and emergency services required, the operator will either deal with the request directly or transfer the call to the most appropriate emergency service.

“If you do not know your exact location, the operator will physical identify where the call originates and pass it to the appropriate emergency services so that help can be dispatched immediately.

“The 112 number is also used in some countries outside the EU – such as Switzerland and South Africa – and is available worldwide on GSM mobile networks.

“I urge anyone intending to travel anywhere in Europe to familiarize themselves with the 112 emergency services number – it could save lives.”  CRÍOCH/END

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Anderson MEP to lead EU Delegation to Palestine

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will lead an EU cross-party delegation of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine to the West Bank and Gaza from 8th to 12th February 2016.

Martina Anderson said:

“As part of its mandate of democratic scrutiny of the EU policies and budget the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine will travel to the region from 8th to 12th February

“EU support to the Palestinians amounts to 300 million euros per annumand the delegation will assess the situation on the ground and the impact EU policies and assistance programmes are having on the lives of Palestinians.

“In all of our engagements we will be empathising the EU support of a two-state solution that will meet the security requirements of both Palestine and Israel.

“Reciprocal recognition of Palestinian and Israeli security needs, Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty and an end to the occupation that began in 1967, should form the basis of a conflict resolution process to resolve all permanent status issues in order to end the conflict.

“The implementation of the EU guidelines on the indication of origin of settlement products will also feature in our discussions. The delegation also intends to address the issue of the EU support to the rebuilding of Gaza, the illegal Israeli demolitions of EU-funded structures and the overall cost-effectiveness of EU assistance to the Palestinians.

“Last but not least, it will alsoassess human rights and democratic developments, including the need for the holding of the long-overdue elections to thePalestinian Legislative Council.

Notes

The group will be led by Delegation Chair Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL, Irish) and composed of 6 other Members: Margrete Auken (Vice-Chair of Delegation, Greens, Denmark), Roza Thun (EPP, Poland), Eugen Freund (S&D, Austria), Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL, France), Rosa D’Amato (EFDD, Italy) and Konstantinos Papadakis (NI, Greece).

“English referendum should not be imposed on the people of the North of Ireland” – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson along with Alyn Smith MEP and Jill Evans representing the SNP and Plaid Cymru have today (Wednesday) intervened in a European Parliament debate on the EU proposals which may form a basis for agreement to be presented by the British Prime Minster in a referendum on EU membership.

All agreed that a possible June referendum, in the event that Britain can agree a deal with the other member states, would be disrespectful of elections in May and give insufficient time for a proper campaign.  All three also agreed that Scotland, the North of Ireland and Wales must not be removed from the  EU against their democratic will.

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said:

“Ireland’s place is Europe and BREXIT is detrimental for Ireland particularly for All Ireland integration.  Sinn Féin wants to see the creation of a social Europe, a Europe with democracy at its core and a Europe that is closer to citizens. 

“The north should have its own referendum,  calculated and counted separately and the outcome respected.  The result of an English referendum should not be imposed on the people of the North of Ireland.  

Alan Smyth, the SNP MEP added,

“We have elections in May and a fundamentally different set of attitudes to EU issues, and a June referendum would be disrespectful of democracy in our countries. We in Scotland were in our own referendum promised by the Prime Minister that Britain is a ‘family of nations’ and we are fully entitled to expect that to be respected now.

“Scotland has a different politics and a different attitude to the EU. If, as I expect, a majority of Scots vote to remain in the EU, it would be a democratic outrage for us to be removed from the EU against our will.”

Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans concluded:

“I represent Wales and EU membership has brought us positive economic, social and cultural benefits. I also believe that the EU has benefitted from having Wales as a member. 

“There is a great deal about the EU I would like to change. But we can only do that by working with our European partners – to improve policy and make the EU more effective and more responsive. 

“We are far better off working for change from within than shouting from the side-lines. If Wales votes to remain in, we should not be dragged out against our democratic will. 

“I want to really engage people in an open, honest, fact-based and mature debate because it’s a decision that will affect many generations to come.” ENDS

Anderson calls for halt to fracking authorisations

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has today reiterated calls for all EU countries halt any authorisation of new hydraulic fracturing, (fracking), operations.

Speaking after voting in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Ms Anderson said,

“Fracking is not only an all-Ireland issue, it is a European issue. Today the Sinn Féin MEPs and the GUE/NGL group voted in favour of urging all member states not authorising any new hydraulic fracturing operations in the EU.

“Taking into account the risks and the negative climate, environmental and biodiversity impacts involved in hydraulic fracturing we need to be active in our opposition, which Sinn Féin has been, in all forums.

“However, it is disappointing, yet not surprising that the other two MEPs, from the North of Ireland Jim Nicholson and Diane Dodds, voted against this resolution, ultimately implying that it is acceptable for EU member states to authorise new hydraulic fracturing operations.

“At a major European Fracking conference that I held last February in Fermanagh, it was revealed that if fracking was brought to the north of Ireland, it would create a maximum of ten jobs. Therefore, the argument that fracking could boost employment is nonsence; the agri-food sector, the environment and the water ways, create more jobs than fracking ever could. All of these sectors would be under threat from fracking.

“Fracking is not a short term project; it has major long term implications, which it appears my fellow MEPs, Jim Nicholson and Diane Dodds and their party colleagues fail to recognise.” ENDS 

NOTES

Full text of resolution: 

Urges the Member States – on the basis of the precautionary principle and the principle that preventive action should be taken, and taking into account the risks and the negative climate, environmental and biodiversity impacts involved in hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of unconventional hydrocarbons, and the gaps identified in the EU regulatory regime for shale gas activities – not to authorise any new hydraulic fracturing operations in the EU;

“Where are the missing children?” Martina Anderson MEP

Martina Anderson MEP has said that the disturbing revelation that more than 10,000 refugee children are missing across the EU is proof, if more was ever needed, that Europe is failing appallingly in this humanitarian crisis.

Speaking in the EU Parliament today on the issue Ms Anderson said:

“The institutions of the EU have displayed nothing but continuous inhumanity by maintaining the ‘Fortress Europe’ approach to this crisis.

“It’s abundantly clear that the knee-jerk policies adopted by several member states are failing miserably. Families are torn apart and childhood innocence destroyed forever.

“According to Save the Children, an estimated 26,000 unaccompanied children entered Europe last year. 

Following the debate Ms Anderson said:

“More than 10,000 refugee children are missing across the EU. Where are these children?

“Are they being trafficked for sex work or slave labour? Do EU agencies really care?

“It is accepted that an organised criminal infrastructure is exploiting the refugee crisis and European policy is making their job easier. Are these missing children victims of this criminal enterprise?

“We need to know where these children are and it is incumbent on EU governments and agencies to provide the resources to trace them.

“The provision of safe and legal access routes for refugees and asylum seekers is the only way to prevent this dreadfulness.   

“10,000 children are missing, thousands more refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea attempting to reach safety on overcrowded and leaky boats because they do not have safe access to legal and safe passage. 

“When Refugees arrive in Europe the safety and protection of unaccompanied child refugees is one of the most pressing issues that must be addressed.” 

EU Commission should provide protection for social media users – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed a commitment from the EU Commission to intensify talks with the US in view of agreeing a framework for personal data transfers, via social networks, to the US.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms Anderson said,

“Whilst social media has become a routine part of 1.73 billion people’s daily lives and it provides an invaluable service in terms of connecting and informing people, it is important that users are protected from any unwanted sharing of personal data.

“In June 2015 the Belgian Privacy Commission brought a case against Facebook on the grounds that non-EU-members who connected to websites that have links to the social network through its ‘like’ button had data collected on their online activities through the use of a ‘datr cookie’.

“On 9 November 2015 a Belgian court ordered Facebook to stop tracking non-members in the country without their consent.  

“The court stated that Facebook did not have individuals’ consent to gather information. Furthermore, it stated that Europe’s national privacy authorities had the right to intervene if they believed their citizens’ data to be at risk when companies move information outside national borders.

The Sinn Féin MEP continued,

“Following this I wrote to the European Commission asking them to detail what actions they are planning to take vis-à-vis Facebook to ensure that EU citizens’ privacy is adequately safeguarded, and whether they will take steps to prohibit the use in the EU of ‘datr cookies’ or ‘cookies’ of equivalent effect?

“I welcome their response stating that they have issued a Communication on the Transfer of Personal Data from the EU to the US. The Communication provides an overview of lawful ways for data transfers to third countries. 

“The Commission has also intensified talks with the US in view of agreeing a framework for data transfers to the US. I’m relieved that moves have been made to rectify these issues, but the Commission needs to deliver on this and should be on hand to provide protection to its citizens.” ENDS

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