Sinn Féin is not a Eurosceptic party

 

A chara, – Stephen Collins’s recent polemic concerning those with an alternative vision for the European Union is a misguided and disappointing analysis of Ireland’s relationship with the EU (“Those intent on the EU’s destruction deserve to be exposed”, Opinion & Analysis, May 9th).

One of the EU’s principal problems is that elites in Brussels, as well as their cheerleaders in the wider body politic and sections of the media, fail to countenance any critique of the “European project” and label anyone with a different vision for Europe a “Eurosceptic” when nothing could, in fact, be further from the truth. Sinn Féin believes that Ireland’s place is in Europe but that the direction of the EU has been, and is, misguided.

Instead of a Europe of deeper concentration of power in a centre that is unaccountable and fails to respect national sovereignty, we want to see a social Europe that place citizens at the centre and acts in their interests. Instead of a Europe of greater co-operation in furthering the neo-liberal economic agenda and in respect of militarisation, we want to see greater co-operation in tackling concerns that assist in building a more progressive Europe: issues like climate change, poverty and workers’ rights.

It is not a case of more Europe – as those in hock to the EU as it stands would have us believe – it is a case of better Europe. What Stephen Collins omits from his assessment is that this is a view shared by the Irish people. Irish support for membership of the EU is strong, but that support does not translate to unconditional approval for the EU’s direction of travel and in numerous referendums the Irish electorate have proved that they are not afraid to voice their concerns.

Stephen Collins cares less about Sinn Féin’s different vision for the EU than he does about promoting the ideological hegemony of the European elites – and their allies in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil who share the same view – that says the EU is flawless. – Is mise,

LYNN BOYLAN MEP,

Clondalkin,

Dublin 22.