Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada, has welcomed the passing of three key amendments to a file on the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF).
The Ireland South MEP submitted the amendments to The Next MFF: Preparing the Parliament’s Position on the MFF post-2020 at a meeting of the Culture and Education Committee.
The file will now go before the Budgets Committee, on which Ms Ní Riada is a coordinator.
“I welcome the passing of what are progressive amendments to the file,” she said.
“The amendments focused on the key themes of addressing the issue of social exclusion, safeguarding natural and cultural heritage, traineeships and apprenticeships and participation by young people in the policy-making processes.
“We included an amendment on social exclusion because it is important that we address this issue and work harder to include people from disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure they have full and equal access to both culture and education.
“It is also important that as a committee, we recognise the importance of safeguarding both natural and cultural heritage and harnessing their potential as economic drivers.
“When I look at examples locally, such as the Gearagh Alluvial woodlands in the upper Lee Valley, I can see the benefits they have for our people. We should use this resource and others for the benefit of communities and their local economies.
“A greater emphasis also needs to be placed on quality traineeships and apprenticeships in order to provide our young people with more opportunities. We should also encourage our youth to participate more in the policy-making processes.
“I am pleased that the committee endorsed these views and I relish the opportunity to fight for these amendments to also be adopted in Budgets Committee.
“I am a member of both the Budgets and Culture Committee which will give me the opportunity to encourage my Budget colleagues to take on board what was carried in the Culture Committee.”