Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) must not be used to further the creeping militarisation of the EU.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking ahead of a vote in Strasbourg next week on the MFF post 2020.
Ms Ní Riada, who sits on the EU Budgets Committee, said that the proposals in the document ‘Preparing the Parliament’s Position on the MFF Post-2020’ could not be allowed to threaten Ireland’s neutrality.
“In light of Brexit and the economic impact particularly on the MFF post 2020, we need an MFF that is now more then ever cognizant of the needs of a social Europe.
“It’s not about doing the same with less money, it’s about being strategic,smart and creative. We need to ensure that cohesion, the Common Agricultural Policy, the Youth Employment initiative and other fundamental programs are maintained and nurtured.
“Above all we need the political courage and will necessary to bring the EU back to its founding principles of promoting peace, stability and solidarity. This will not be achieved through militarization.
“We all stand for an MFF that safeguards the financial reinforcement of the programs which are dedicated to improving people’s lives, bolstering social security systems, promoting equality, reducing unemployment, supporting quality-long term employment, protecting public services, universal access to health care and education; and promoting our rural and coastal regions.
“However, to use the MFF to promote the militarisation of the EU is unacceptable. It flies in the face of Member States like Ireland who have had a tradition of being militarily neutral.
“We utterly reject the militarisation of the EU and giving corporations that would benefit from a pan-European military industrial complex such influence.”