Roche, ELDR Vice President

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As well as the appointments made by the European Council last night (more on that later), another recent appointment has come to my knowledge. Dick Roche, the current Minister for Europe, has been made a Vice-President of the European Liberal Democratic and Reform Party (ELDR) . From what I am hearing, a lot of people are not happy about this.

Pat Cox, the former President of the ELDR is not a happy man from what I hear, and the youth wing LYMEC (who I have blogged previously about here) are also not a happy bunch. LYMEC are actually threatening to vote en masse against anything Fianna Fail put forward at ELDR Congress (which is currently ongoing in Barcelona) meaning that nothing Fianna Fail want will happen.The Dutch Liberals, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) I think (It could be D66) are not happy with the appointment either.

Fianna Fail don’t seem to making many friends in the ELDR or ALDE. This is the second time this month they have annoyed other members. I wonder how long they will last as Liberals?

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How will “Liberal” Fianna Fail react to its Liberal Allies?

If I was in the god-bothering wing of Fianna Fail I would be very annoyed with the actions of some Fianna Fail’s allies in the European Liberal Democratic and Reform Party. One of the members of this party Brigitta Ohlsson (of the Swedish Liberal People’s Party) has along with a few collegues from the UK Liberal Democrats ( Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP), the Dutch Democrats 66 (Sophie in ‘t Veld) and the Danish Det Radikale Venstre (Lone Dybkjær) have started a campaign to get Ireland, Malta and Poland and a few other EU countries, to recognise ‘right of abortion’.

According to the TimesofMalta.com Ms Ohlsson said:

“A cornerstone of the European Union is to work for gender equality and health. Therefore, women who lack the access to free, legal and safe abortions in EU countries such as Ireland, Malta and Poland, can no longer be ignored. The governments of these countries must be put under pressure.”

The campaign is called “Make Noise for Choice“. They hope to use the Citizens Intiative procedure under the Lisbon Treaty to try and force the Commission to take action. Luckily the Commission cannot take any action as abortion rights is seen as national issue and both Malta and Ireland have protocols attached to treaty’s stating that the EU cant force either country to bring in abortion

Although this initiative will most probably be supported by many current MEPs as the EU chamber has already approved similar motions on reproductive rights and abortion in recent years, the EU Treaty does not give any right to the Union to impose abortion legislation on any member state as this is considered as the exclusive right of the individual sovereign nations.

So basically this is all a waste of time. But still as I said if I was in Fianna Fail I would be wondering about we are we allies with in Europe and might write to my TD and MEP! Luckily I am not a member!

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