The European Parliament elections 2014 will be huge – But not in Ireland

Logo of the Defunct Pirate Party Ireland.

Ronny has a good post on his blog why the next the European Parliament Elections will be different from past ones. This election will quiet important with both the Party of European Socialists (PES) and the European People’s Party (EPP) putting forward agreed candidates for the post of President of the European Commission.

There is also the possibility of the Pirate Party becoming a European political force as they will be running in most of the countries of the European Union. A conference on a European Pirate Party is taking place this weekend in Prague.

But this is not the case in Ireland. With the elections taking place on the same day as the Local Elections in 2014 much of the focus in Ireland will be on national parties and how they are doing with very little to do about how their European Parties are doing.

Another reason for this is that will be the current MEP’s running again. While we have already seen 3 changes in our MEP’s since 2009. Paul Murphy replaced Joe Higgins in Dublin and Phil Prendergast replaced Alan Kelly in April 2011 following the General Election. In February this year Emer Costello replaced Proinsias De Rossa as he retired from the Parliament. It is unlikely there will be a change in who is running.

While Dublin could see a seat up for grabs if Paul Murphy can’t get the votes that Joe Higgins got in 2009. But I doubt there will be major changes in any of the other Euro Constituencies.

Another reason why the European Elections won’t be as exciting in Ireland is that we have no Pirate Party. The Pirate Party Ireland/Páirtí Foghlaithe na hÉireann was founded in May 2009 and had over 300 members in 2010 meaning they could register as a party, but in 2011 the party winded down after not standing in any election.

There is a hope that an Irish Pirate Party may be started up again and therefore make the European Parliament Elections here more interesting, but they have 2 years to do it.

List: Irish MEPs and their Committees

If your like me, you will want to know what committees in the European Parliament the Irish MEPs have been assigned to. I have gleaned this information off the europarl website and some of ye might find it interesting.

Committee on Development

  • Gay Mitchell (FG/EPP – Dublin)

Committee on International Trade

  • Joe Higgins (SOC/GUE-NGL – Dublin)

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

  • Proinsias De Rossa (Lab/S&D – Dublin)
  • Marian Harkin (Ind/ALDE – North West)

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

  • Nessa Childers (Lab/S&D – East)

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy:

  • Brian Crowley (FF/ALDE – South)

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

  • Alan Kelly (Lab/S&D – South)

Committee on Transport and Tourism

  • Jim Higgins (FG/EPP – North West)

Committee on Regional Development

  • Sean Kelly (FG/EPP – South)

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

  • Mairead McGuinness (FG/EPP – East)
  • Liam Aylward (FF/ALDE – East)

Committee on Fisheries

  • Pat “The Cope” Gallagher (FF/ALDE – North West)

Committee on Petitions

  • Mairead McGuinness (FG/EPP – East)

A boring list, but usefull information.

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Lisbon Round Up: Gen Yes, UKIP and Abortion

The preamble of the Charter of Fundamental Rig...
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So last night I attended the Generation Yes Event in Cork on Lisbon in Light of the Guarantees. It was a really interesting event and their will be videos, pictures and audio going up on the Generation Yes Website in the next few days. I will be getting involved in Generation Yes in Cork, so I’ll keep ye informed of goings on.

Without Libertas this time round, there is talk that the UK Independence Party might fill that role. According to Michael Heavers blog

It looks like Ireland’s only semi-high profile “no” campaign will be a newly-elected Socialist MEP. But he only has very niche appeal to the electorate at large. And so it appears that UKIP will once again be left to try and do what it can to deliver a blow to those who wish to create a federal Europe.

He does forget about Coir who were quite good at getting a few points across that get coming up on the canvass (eg Abortion and God). He goes on to point out that it would be wrong for UKIP MEPs to come here and campaign,

It wouldn’t be very wise for British MEPs to charge over to Ireland telling them what to do. We certainly wouldnt’t like it if it was the other way round.

I agree with him on that. UKIP’s role will be on the Guarantees.

Where UKIP can and I believe will play a part, is in scrutinising the legitimacy of the so-called “guarantees” that the EU have granted Ireland ahead of a second referendum.

No harm in them checking that out for us. Hopefully its something that will inform the debate here.

This week saw Joe Higgins launch his No Campaign for the treaty. As Micheal earlier pointed out, Joe is going to be the most high profile campiagner for the No side. Im sure he will be joined by Patricia McKenna and a few other councillors from People Before Profit and independents.

Moving on from that, the abortion issue isnt going anywhere fast, and Jim Murray on blogactiv has a good response to that.

Also on blogactiv Gary Fingan blogs about how the bookies are looking at the referendum.

Irish bookmakers are betting the Lisbon Treaty will win between 60% and 65% of the vote in October

He does point out that the bookies got it wrong last time and will be watching it closely this time. Its a good post and those interested in a bit of gambling on politics might get a few tips from it.

Finally the Green Party will decide how it will act in the upcoming Lisbon Referendum as well as discussing the review of the Program for Government. They need 2/3 of those attending to back the treaty for the party to take a line on it and with McKenna gone, the no side within the party has lost its leader. It will be an interesting meeting.

Thats all I have at the moment. If you see anything Lisbon related, do send it on to me by leaving a comment or emailing stephen[AT]stephenspillane[dot]com. Also you can send me links via twitter

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7 Irish MEP Candidates sign the ILGA Pledge

ILGA-Europe (International Lesbian and Gay Association – Europe) have a petition for MEP candidates on its website.

ILGA-Europe is calling upon candidates for the European Parliament elections 2009 to sign this pledge to promote equality and to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in their role as member of the European Parliament.

The 7 Irish MEP Candidates are:

  • Nessa Childers (Labour – Ireland East)
  • Pronsias De Rossa MEP (Labour – Ireland Dublin)
  • Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Fein – Ireland Dublin)
  • Dan Boyle (Green – Ireland South)
  • Susan O’Keefe (Labour – Ireland North-West)
  • Alan Kelly (Labour – Ireland South)
  • Joe Higgins (Socialist Party – Ireland Dublin)

Fair play to them for signing it. Susan O’Keeffe’s comment was really touching:

NO MORE PLEDGES

I PLEDGE TO WORK TOWARDS THE DAY WHEN NO MORE PLEDGES LIKE THIS ONE WILL BE REQUIRED. WE ARE EQUAL AND THAT’S ALWAYS WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

(Caps aren’t mine)

She makes a good point.

See who signed in your country

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