March 12, 2024
“Keep your hands off Irish neutrality” – MEP MacManus warns Commission President

“Keep your hands off Irish neutrality” – MEP MacManus warns Commission President

The Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North-West, Chris MacManus, has hit out at the candidacy of Ursula von der Leyen for President of the European Commission after she was selected to be the EPP candidate. 

Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, MacManus hit out at President von der Leyen´s pro-Military agenda and said the next Commission president should be someone who is committed to a social Europe, that puts citizens to the fore of the decision making process.

MacManus said:

“President Ursula von der Leyen has been selected to be the EPP candidate to serve a second term for European Commission President. Launching her campaign, she commented that you wished to work with those who are pro-NATO. As a neutral country, what does that mean for us in Ireland? 

“She has also commented that she would like to see an EU Defence Commissioner. I firmly believe this would detrimental to Irish neutrality. 

“To put it simply, my message to President von der Leyen is to keep your hands off Irish neutrality. 

“Her agenda does not align with the values of Ireland or the Irish people. We value our independent foreign policy and we do not want the President of the European Commission having any part in setting that policy.  

MacManus concluded by calling on An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to stand up for Irish Neutrality.  “What we need is a Commission President who is committed to a social Europe, that puts citizens to the fore of the decision making process, respects the sovereignty of countries – not a neo-liberal, pro-militarisation agenda. I call on An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to make that abundantly clear at the next meeting of the European Council.

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