Category: Press releases

Press releases by Martina Anderson MEP.

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June 11th, 2013

Speaking from Strasbourg, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said that she welcomed the issuing of a joint declaration of support for people with disabilities by the leaders of the main political groups in the Parliament

Martina Anderson said:

“As a member of the forum on the rights of those people with disabilities, I welcome the fact that this declaration is backed up with a series of initiatives to ensure the full participation and enforcement of the rights in society of people with disabilities.

Among the initiatives that will be taken are:

– The European Parliament will implement and mainstream the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) through the setting up of a cross-Committee;

– The European Parliament will put forward concrete proposals aiming to protect persons with disabilities from the economic crisis;

– In view of the 2014 European elections, the political groups will ensure the accessibility of their websites, documents and information to persons with disabilities;

– The political groups will push for a strong and ambitious EU legislation on accessibility of goods and services: What is needed is an ambitious, legally binding European Accessibility Act, with strong measures at EU level to improve the accessibility of goods and services of high quality for persons with disabilities.

“By adopting the “Equal Treatment Directive”, which is being blocked by Member States in the Council, the Parliament has demonstrated its determination to fight for the rights of persons with disabilities and to combat discrimination of all kinds.

“When signing the Declaration, the Group leaders jointly expressed our strong belief that It is time to stop thinking that we are dealing only with a financial crisis, but also with a social and human rights crisis. While seeking a resolution to our ever growing national deficits and public debts, we should also bear in mind that there are millions of people suffering from the economic mismanagement by banks and governments.Particular attention must be paid to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged social groups like people with disabilities.

“Persons with disabilities are affected disproportionally by the austerity measures in Europe to pay for a crisis they are not responsible for. It’s time for the EU to fulfil its commitment to the UN CRPD and to 80 million Europeans with disabilities. I welcome this initiative by the Political Groups of the European Parliament, in taking a decisive step in the right direction.”

Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson has urged anyone travelling in Europe, whether on holiday or business to remember the number 112 for Emergencies.

Martina Anderson said:

I know there will be many people from Ireland travelling throughout Europe during the summer months, be it for business, a holiday or to visit family and friends. There are a number of things that everyone should check are in order before setting off on your journey.

“Ensure that any accompanying children have their own passports as many countries now refuse to accept children included on the parents passport. Make sure that your own passport is in order as again many countries refuse entry if your passport has less than six months before expiry.


“Unfortunately the difference in regulations has sometimes resulted in families losing holidays and even in some instances being stranded in foreign countries when refused permission to continue a journey.

“But just as important as these measures on passports is that you should be aware of the emergency number 112 in case of instances of illness or accidents

“Obviously, we all hope that nothing unforeseen occurs during a trip that is meant for relaxation and enjoyment but it is useful to know the quickest way to contact emergency services in the eventuality that they are required. So remember 112, it is the equivalent to our 999 but is recognised in any European member state, free of charge from both mobiles and landlines.


“A recent survey showed that only 26% of people surveyed in Ireland had heard of it. Worryingly that leaves three quarters of travellers possibly in a precarious situation where knowing the existence of the 112 number could save crucial time in an emergency.” CRÍOCH

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson is hosting a conference tomorrow (Friday June 7th) in Cavan town on the issues of youth unemployment in Ireland and the EU’s ‘Youth Guarantee’ proposals.

She said, “One of the most worrying consequences of the economic downturn across the EU is the sharp rise in youth unemployment levels, with those in both parts of Ireland hitting all-time highs, and so in this the Irish Presidency of the EU, I am holding an event on these issues in County Cavan”.

Anderson continued, “The event is entitled ‘Guarantee Our Future’ and the idea is to bring together young people and their representative organizations to speak of their experiences, and along with the relevant agencies, to look at what has been proposed to date, and how effective it has been. I’m delighted to be holding this event in Co Cavan, in association with my colleague Senator Kathryn Reilly, and am very pleased that the major youth organisations will be taking part. These include the National Youth Council of Ireland, the NI Youth Forum and the National Union of Students/Union of Students of Ireland as well as the European Youth Forum. We will also have speakers from the European Commission, European Parliament and from the Young Left campaign group from Sweden, as well as Sinn Fein members of both the Assembly and Oireachtas”.

Anderson concluded, “We need leaders at EU and state level to put a focus on combating this growing problem, by fleshing out the detail of initiatives like the proposed ‘Youth Guarantee’ and making sure that such schemes are adequately resourced. Youth unemployment is leading to the return of the bad old days of mass youth emigration from this island – we must all work to ensure that the future options for our young people are not in Clapham or Canberra but here at home”.

“Guarantee Our Future” conference will take place on Friday June 7th, in the Cavan Crystal Hotel, Cavan town.

Registration – 9.30am, opening 10am, lunch (complimentary) served at 1pm.

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson is hosting a 22-strong delegation of MEPs at a conference covering a wide range of topics in Derry’s City Hotel over the next two days. Including the MEPs the delegation will involve over 100 international guests visiting the City.

Martina Anderson said:

“I welcome the opportunity to host the Northern leg of the visit to Ireland by this large contingent of MEPs representing the GUE/NGL grouping at the European Parliament.

“During the two day event there will be open discussion on a wide range of topics from the background to the conflict to the fight-back to austerity and the economic alternatives and challenges for left politics.

“Among those addressing the Conference will be deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MLA and Socialist Party Leader Joe Higgins TD.

“Other contributors include, Peter Shirlow, Queens University, Professor Bill Rolston, University of Ulster, Sinn Féin Chairperson, Declan Kearney, PUP Foyle Chairperson, Leslie Mitchell, NIPSA President Patrick Mullholland and Maureen Collins of the ‘Pink Ladies’.

“A debate on the International Dimension of the Irish Peace Process will include representatives of organisations involved in peace processes in other areas of conflict throughout the world.

“International Peace Process speakers include Akif Wan, Representative of the Kurdish national Congress (KNK), Kurdistan, T. U. Senan; Representative of Tamil Solidarity, Sri Lanka, Gorka Elejabarietta; Representative of Sortu, Basque Country and Adnan Shabab, Representative of the delegation of Palestine to Ireland.”

Martina Anderson MEP has stressed the urgency to make progress of the CAP reform. Speaking from Brussels, the Sinn Féin MEP said, “Despite the optimism of the Simon Covney, it is looking increasingly difficult for the Irish Presidency to achieve their goal of concluding the CAP reform under their mandate.

“Feedback from this week’s informal Agricultural Council have shown that there are sill many areas, such as capping and convergence, in which Council and Parliament disagree, this in addition to the growing displeasure from the farming unions should be sending out warning signs.

“As the negotiations continue, many from the parliament’s side feel there is little good will coming from the council, who refuse to compromise on many core issues, such as flexibility. This could lead to the negotiations stagnating, and becoming even more complex and technical, which would be very dangerous at this point in the game.

“I and many others will be waiting with bated breath to see the outcome of the June meetings; many are still relying on the package being presented for an agreement at this meeting, and a failure to do this would be a severe blow for the whole process.