Mairead McGuinness MEP
Mairead McGuinness MEP and first Vice-President of the European Parliament has been selected to once again run for Fine Gael in the Midlands-North West constituency which represents Leitrim, at a party convention held at the weekend.
Speaking following the formal ratification of her nomination she said the European Parliament is the only directly elected EU institution, facilitating accountability and transparency, and also giving political legitimacy.
“In an increasingly globalised world where the local is global and the global local - that ensures that the Parliament enables people’s voices to be heard on European and global issues that are too big for one country to address alone," she said.
However, in a world where there are ever more outlets for expression, she said it’s often those who shout loudest who get the greatest attention, to the detriment of reasonable voices, as the Brexit referendum has demonstrated.
“That is a challenge to politics today. Brexit points to a global trend of polarisation of politics and that is worrying for the future.
“But it throws it back to us as politicians to be ever more adept at listening, acting and communicating back to people.
“And it’s a challenge for the electorate to decipher truth from bluster,” she said.
Ms McGuinness said that while efforts to ensure an orderly Brexit continue, it is critical to also focus on the future of the EU.
“Solidarity around Brexit shows a united EU, yet on some issues there is little common ground,” she said.
Challenges including migration, security, climate change, completing the banking union and even agreeing an EU budget post 2020 have all to be faced up to.
“We need to build a strong EU fit for the future, that meets the concerns of citizens and is accessible, transparent and open," Ms McGuinness said.
“The next European Parliament is likely to see an increase in eurosceptic members, which could impact the ability of the Parliament to legislate effectively,” she said.
“Healthy criticism of the EU is both necessary and important in order to make progress but the recent past shows us that anti-EU forces seek to destroy the EU and its core values and principles.
“That challenge must be met head on,” she said.
Maria Walsh was also selected to run for Fine Gael in Midlands North-West where Ms McGuinness said the party is aiming to win two seats.
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