Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said women are at the heart of decision making as part of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament.
Speaking as the group, which includes four Sinn Féin MEPs, made history when it counted more women than men in its membership, Ms Anderson said;
“Gender equality is a key priority for Sinn Féin on councils, in the Assembly, in the Dáil, in the Seanad, at Westminster and in Europe.
“I am delighted that the GUE/NGL group we sit with in the European Parliament now has more women than men.
“After the May elections, not only did the group’s representation in the parliament increase by 50 per cent, the gender balance became equal for the first time. Now, as Tania González Peñas has joined the group, the number of women has risen to 27.
“This puts women at the heart of decision making in the European Parliament and is yet another example of Sinn Féin’s commitment to equality.”
After returning from a recent fact finding mission to Palestine – Martina Anderson MEP informs EU parliament that 13 MEPS where denied access to the Gaza Strip by Israel so that the Israel regime could hide the evidence of war crimes committed by their army during the recent crisis in the area.
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on the European Commission to listen to the views of the people on a controversial trade deal.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms Anderson said;
“The Canada-European Trade Agreement (CETA) includes a mechanism which would give privileges to international investors allowing them to sue governments in offshore tribunals.
“This would allow huge international companies to ride roughshod over democratically elected governments for introducing any regulations likely to upset their profits.
“The Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP), which Sinn Féin also opposes, contained a similar clause.
“Essentially this is an attempt to introduce TTIP by the back door.
“This is despite the fact that 150,000 citizens responded to the European Commission’s recent consultation on this mechanism in TTIP.
“However the European Commission seems not to be taking these genuine concerns into account and in pressing ahead with this plan is making a mockery of that consultation.
“I am calling on the Commission to put the interests of people before the profits of major international companies by removing this mechanism.”
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the ban imposed by Russia on EU agricultural products is very worrying for Irish farmers.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms Anderson said;
“The ban imposed by the Russian Federation on agricultural produces from the EU is a very worrying development for Irish farmers.
“It reflects the failures of both Russian and European diplomacy to deal with issues in Ukraine.
“Undoubtedly it is the people of Ukraine who have suffered as a result of this but the negative impact is also now being felt by farmers and agricultural businesses in Ireland and across Europe.
“Farmers and agricultural communities are already struggling and these sanctions may prove to be too much for some to cope with.
“That is why Sinn Féin voted against the EU-Ukraine association agreement which would only serve to escalate the conflict and add to the worries of our agricultural community. Attempts to rush this agreement through the Parliament without appropriate political scrutiny benefit no-one.
“The European Commission needs to ensure that small family farmers do not pay the price for international political decisions they did not ask for.
“The Commission should also explore the possibility of whether compensation could be put in place where there is long-term impact on farmers beyond the sanctions period.
“Small farmers need a friend in the European Commission, not a bureaucracy which fails to act to protect their livelihoods.”
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the launch of a new programme to promote the North West Health Innovation Corridor.
Speaking ahead of the launch at C-TRIC in Derry, Ms Anderson said;
“The North West Health Innovation Corridor was launched in May 2013 by the President go the
Massachusetts State Senate, Therese Murray, and since then has gained a growing international reputation for excellence.
“This new programme will involve collaboration between the University of Massachusetts, the University of Ulster, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and the Clinical Transitional Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) in Derry.
“It will provide the opportunity for start-up health innovation companies in Derry to travel to Boston each month to learn from the US market and will also allow companies for Boston to come to the north west.
“The launch of this programme is the latest investment in this process, which began as a result of trade missions I led to Boston with the co-operation of Senator Murray.
“And I’d like to congratulate Senator Murray on receiving the Tip O’Neill Award, which was presented by President Michael D Higgins at the weekend.
“This is a further strengthening of the relationship between Derry and Boston and I am sure that will continue with many more collaborative initiatives as the health innovation corridor develops further.
“All of this will help us realise our goal of bringing about improvements and innovations in health and social well-being.”
Sinn Féin MEPs discuss the committees that they are members of and talk about some of the work that they have been doing since being elected to parliament. Sinn Féin MEPs delivering for the people of Ireland.
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on EU Foreign Ministers to act with the same resolve against Israel as they have against Russia.
Martina Anderson said:
“As a member of the European Parliament and while not questioning their actions in regard to the situation in Ukraine I find it incredulous that Member States Foreign Ministers have moved to impose stringent sanctions on Russian Officials ‘deemed’ responsible for their country’s action yet stand idly by whilst Israel is allowed to massacre hundreds of helpless Palestinian civilians, one in four of which are children with impunity. Where is the morality in this position?
“Let me be clear, the situation in Ukraine is terrible and unacceptable but when is the EU, UN and the international community going to get the courage to tell Israel – your expansionism, aggression and collective punishment of the Palestinian people is unacceptable. Tell them that unless they cease and desist and enter into meaningful negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people chosen by the Palestinian people that the full range of sanctions being threatened against Russia – visa bans, asset freezes and a halt to all military and economic aid and cooperation – will be also be imposed on Israel.
“In the first instance the EU/Israel Association Agreement should be suspended as Israel has breached Article 2 of the Agreement with its ongoing violations of Human Rights in Gaza.
“It’s past time for world leaders including EU Foreign Ministers to stand with the oppressed against bully nations such as Israel.”
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada makes maiden speech in European Parliament on Payment situation in the EU budget given the unprecedented level of outstanding EU commitments