Ó Ríordáin calls on Fine Gael to clarify position on cooperating with far right in European Parliament

22 May 2024

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the Labour Party candidate for Dublin in the European elections, has called on Fine Gael to clarify its position on collaborating with the far right in Europe.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“Most voters want to know that their MEPs will stand up for a tolerant, open society, and for common democratic values.

“We have already seen members of the European People’s Party (EPP) in countries like Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands form governments with right wing populists. But now the EPP is courting reactionary groups at European level too.

“This stands in stark contrast to the Socialists & Democrats Group, which has promised not to cooperate with any far right parties, and to instead defend the European Union from reactionary politics. It spurred me to run in these elections – to defend Dublin at the highest level from the kind of politics we saw in the riots last year.

“Our Socialists & Democrats Group, representing the Party of European Socialists in the Parliament has led on a European wide political declaration to defend democracy that Renew, Greens and the Left have co-signed, committing not to normalise, co-operate or form alliances with far-right and radical parties.”

It comes following reports that Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, leader of the post-fascist Brothers of Italy party, is leading efforts to engineer an alliance at EU level between the EPP and her European Conservatives & Reformists Group (ECR).

In what has been seen as a significant shift to the right, the EPP in the European Parliament attempted to derail the Nature Restoration Law, while Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has been increasingly engaging with the ECR to secure their votes for a second term.

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin continued:

“Fine Gael needs to be clear about what the party stands for, and voters deserve to know. Fine Gael representatives have sought out liberal votes when it suited them politically, but it’s hard to ignore their recent change in tone, just at the time when their European political group is courting groups further to the right.

“I’m calling on Fine Gael and all candidates in these European elections to state their position on whether they will form alliances with reactionary groups like the ECR and Identity & Democracy. And I want to ask voters to choose candidates who will deliver for democratic values, for climate action and for working people.”


Notes to Editors:

The Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament which Labour is a member of, initiated the Declaration in Defence of Democracy, published on 8th May.

This letter was in response to recent attacks against politicians and increasing acts of violence by the far right. It calls on all democratic European parties to reject any normalisation, cooperation or alliance with far-right and radical parties. It has been co-signed by the leaders of Renew Europe, Greens/EFA and the GUE/NGL Left.

More here: https://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu/newsroom/political-leaders-sign-declaration-defence-democracy

On 4th May, Labour’s Party of European Socialists which makes up the S&D group, published the Berlin Democracy Declaration, which goes on to say:

We will never cooperate nor form a coalition with the far right! This also means: no cooperation or alliances with ECR or ID in the European Parliament.

 “At the same time, we call on all democratic European parties to firmly reject any normalisation, cooperation or alliance with the far-right. We expect them to include this formally and unequivocally in their election manifestos and party declarations as we do in our PES manifesto and in this PES leadership declaration. This is the only way to assure voters that there is a reliable and firm firewall against the far-right after the European elections.”

 More information available here: https://pes.eu/pes/berlin-democracy-declaration-voters-can-rely-on-us-to-stand-against-the-far-right/

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