Beware the ‘green jersey’ approach, warns MEP

July 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm Leave a comment

Two Irish MEPs urged the Oireachtas Joint Committee on European Affairs last week to get more involved in European decision-making by cooperating with our EU neighbours.
Addressing the newly-formed committee in Leinster House, Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness said Ireland’s problems are common EU problems that must be solved on the basis of EU solidarity. “When there is no coherent EU approach and every EU member state adopts a national jersey, no one is looking after the EU collectively,” she said.
Ms McGuinness called on the members of the Oireachtas Committee to engage particularly in the EU budget debate for the period 2014 to 2020. “The Commission is proposing a new system of financing the EU budget and this must be looked at by all member states with an open mind. If we stick to the narrow perspective of ‘my money back’ then progress will be stunted, and what appears to be a relatively benign Commission proposal could become a real problem for Ireland,” she added.
Meanwhile Labour MEP Proinsias De Rossa outlined to the Committee the increased role that can be played by the Dáil in EU affairs as provided for under the Lisbon Treaty. The extra powers bestowed on all national parliaments include the right to participate in decisions on Treaty changes and the right to object to proposed EU legislation.
Mr De Rossa asked the Committee to keep abreast of planning schedules within the European Parliament, so that the Dáil timetable would better be able to organise its scrutiny of EU business. He also suggested that the Committee would hold its meetings when MEPs are most likely to be in Ireland, so that their attendance can improve the lines of communication between Brussels and Dublin.

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