Call for McCreevy removal in heated Brussels debate

Wed, Jun 18, 2008, 01:00

The leader of the Socialist group in the European Parliament has demanded that Charlie McCreevy be removed from his post of EU commissioner.

A Eurosceptic member of the European Parliament displays a poster calling on the EU to respect the outcome of Ireland's referendum during a debate on the forthcoming European Summit, in Strasbourg. AP Photo/Christian Lutz
A Eurosceptic member of the European Parliament displays a poster calling on the EU to respect the outcome of Ireland's referendum during a debate on the forthcoming European Summit, in Strasbourg. AP Photo/Christian Lutz

Martin Schulz said Mr McCreevy had contributed to Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty with his remarks during the referendum campaign that no "sane person" would read the document.

"This man goes to Ireland and says he has not read the treaty and tells people there is no need to read it," Mr Schultz said during a heated debate on the referendum at the European parliament in Strasbourg today.

"Is that a way of instilling confidence?"

The German MEP said the Irish Commissioner had also undermined workers' rights in Europe. "The best measure…for Europe is to take that portfolio away from Mr McCreevy. He has fallen down on the job," Mr Schulz added.

In response European Commission president José Manuel Barroso said that while he didn't find Mr McCreevy's comments on the Lisbon treaty "particularly fortunate," now was not the time for scapegoating individuals.

"Let's not find scapegoats…Attacking the Irish Commissioner is not a good way of fostering dialogue with Irish friends," Mr Barroso said.

Ireland East MEP Mairead McGuinness said today Ireland remained a full member of the EU and must not be isolated because of the outcome of the Lisbon Treaty referendum.

Speaking from Strasbourg, she said there were many serious issues to be tackled by the EU which will directly impact on Ireland.

“The Health Check of the Common Agricultural Policy is work in progress. We face a situation of rising fuel and food prices. We are facing into a review of the EU budget. We need a strong coherent EU for progress to be made in these areas,” she said.

She said Taoiseach Brian Cowen needed to come forward with firm proposals for the way forward. “It is clear from the debate in the European Parliament today that the status quo will not prevail and that the ratification process in other member states will continue,” she added.