Europe’s Progressive Future On The Ballot on June 7

03 June 2024

Labour’s MEP candidate for Dublin, Aodhán Ó’Ríordáin, has said that the hard-won social progress achieved across Europe in recent years is at risk from growth of right-wing parties in Europe.

“We saw in the Marriage Equality referendum and later with the Repeal of the Eighth Amendment, how Ireland’s drive to progressive change gave hope to people across Europe that compassion and love can win.

“Across Europe, conservative and far-right parties are gaining support. This could have a profound impact on the next European parliament as conservative forces drive forward their agenda.  The social progress we’ve achieved is at risk.

“Earlier this year the ultra-conservative ECR group in the European Parliament published its charter of values. It states that the group “Upholds the teachings of Saint Benedict” and goes on to commit to the traditional family, the right to life and promises to oppose the ‘globalist agenda.’

“Even further to the right is the Identity and Democracy group, which is opposed to the European Green Deal, attacks NGOs, and whose most influential voice is France’s Marine Le Pen.

“It is deeply worrying that Fine Gael’s group in the European Parliament, the EPP, is keeping the door open for co-operation with these reactionary forces.

“At national level across Europe EPP parties in Croatia, Italy, Finland have formed governing arrangements with conservative and far-right parties.

“While currently most vocal on the issue of immigration, conservative and far-right parties also threaten women’s rights, gay rights and abortion rights.

“They will try to drag Europe back to the past, curtailing the social Europe agenda that the Labour Party and our European Group, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group, is deeply committed to.

“While Europe’s influence on domestic issues in Ireland rightly takes centre stage in this election, there is a broader picture. The next European Parliament will take vital decisions – on climate, on workers’ rights and on housing.

“It is vital that progressive, voices, opposed to the worst instincts of the far-right and conservative represent Dublin in the European Parliament.

“If elected by the people of Dublin I pledge never to facilitate or co-operate with conservative forces and the Labour Party, along with other parties in the S&D Group signed a pledge never to co-operate or form alliances with far right parties.

“I urge other candidates, especially Fine Gael, to make a similar commitment.”

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