Speaking from Strasbourg this evening on the EU’s Report on military structures: state of play and future prospects, Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson was strongly critical of its content.

Martina Anderson commented:
“One of the reasons that the people of Ireland were so opposed to the Lisbon Treaty was the fear of its impact on Irish neutrality and the further drive towards the militarisation of the European Union.

“But even then I don’t believe that the Irish people foreseen a report like this being adopted in the European Parliament.

“The tone of its content – Sabre-rattling, war-mongering and jingoism – is certain to make people across the European Union even more critical of the EU and to view it as an increasingly militarised and aggressive body.

“I have no doubt that, if people are given a vote, there will be huge resistance to the sort of changes to the Treaties proposed in this report.”

Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson commenting on the result of a vote aimed at addressing the negative impact of EU Bio-fuel policy at the European Parliament in Strasbourg today expressed her disappointment at the outcome.

Martina Anderson said:

“The vote today on crucial European legislation regarding bio-fuels, was intended to redress some of the negative impacts the EU’s bio-fuel policy to date has had in regards the impact Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) has had on the developing world as production is diverted from food to bio-fuel crops, inflating the cost of food and pushing people into poverty and hunger.

“Once again, I am disappointed that what could have been a very good report, with positive effects, has been watered down to appease the constant efforts of the rampant multi-national producers lobbying machine operating in Europe. Unfortunately, some MEPs have been all too willing to give them a ready ear.

“Whilst the proposal had aimed at capping the amount of bio-fuels in the overall fuel mix at 5% this was gradually extended to 5.5% in committee and today MEPs voted for 6%. Now 1% per cent doesn’t sound like a lot but when applied to land mass, required to produce it in developing countries, it represents a serious amount of land which could produce food and address the endemic hunger that exists, but will now be used to produce extra bio-fuel crops for the purpose of increased profits to feed the greed of the already wealthy.

“I am further frustrated that a very slim majority in the EU Parliament voted against commencing immediate negotiations with the Council, adding further delay to a problem which needs resolution now.

“While emissions arising from ILUC will be taken into account, I feel that we could have had a much more robust and environmentally and socially just report.”

Speaking from Strasbourg following the “State of the Union” address from President Barroso, Martina Anderson MEP (Sinn Féin) commented:

”It’s obvious that President Barroso like other EU Leaders who are wedded to the failed strategy of austerity is out of touch with the actuality of the living experience of those saddled with the reality of their austerity policies.

“Under the stewardship of President Barroso, more people are living in poverty, public services are being slashed and burned, millions are unemployed across Europe, including unprecedented numbers of young people. Citizens are weighted down with the debts of banks. And all the while the golden circles are protected and looked after by the policies that this Presidency promotes.

”It may come as news to President Barroso that for many millions of people across the EU the state of the union is anything but good. In fact it is extremely bad for all but the golden circles that Barroso obviously travels in.

”It is not too late for President Barroso and the adherents of the failed austerity agenda to reflect upon the misery they have inflicted upon millions of people and come to recognise, and possibly even to redress, the policy choices they have made.”

Martina Anderson MEP speaks in parliament on Measures for the recovery of European eel stocks

Martina Anderson MEP speaking in parliament on the Implementation of the EU youth strategy 2010-2012 – Tackling youth unemployment: possible ways out

Martina Anderson MEP speaking in parliament on the Fuel quality directive and renewable energy directive

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson as part of her ‘Standing up for you’ campaign visits the Armagh City/North Armagh area accompanied by the MP for the area Conor Murphy and local MLA Cathal Boylan to meet with local voluntary, community and business groups to offer her support and advice on building a strategic plan for the area.

Speaking from Strasbourg where the Lovin Report on Eel Fisheries is being debated, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson commented:

“Lough Neagh enjoys Protected Geographical Indication Status. It is the largest commercial wild Eel fishery in Europe and there is no other Eel fishery which is similarly structured and managed.

“Over 300 families in the locality are dependent on the Lough Neagh Eel fishery. Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative has developed the most sustainable Eel fisheries in Europe.

“All involved with the fishery recognise the importance of conserving Eel stocks and voluntarily administer additional regulation ensuring sustainable fishing practices.

“For more than 40 years Co-Op members have invested over £4 million in the purchase and restocking of glass Eels.

“It is important to improve European Eel stock recovery; hence leading Eel experts within the Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute are currently researching the biological assessment of stocking.

“However no proposal which impacts directly on individuals, businesses and communities should be introduced until an impact assessment based on independent scientific advice has been completed.