The biggest danger to democracy in the EU is the ‘failure throughout Europe to look after working people and those on the periphery’, according to Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú who again pressed the government to get ready for Irish unity.
The Sinn Féin deputy was speaking in the Dáil during statements following the European Council meeting and has just returned from Prague where he spoke at the meeting of Chairpersons of the Conference of the Parliamentary Committees for European Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC).
Deputy Ó Murchú said the themes from both the EU Council meeting and COSAC were food security and the need to protect lives.
He said: ‘We all know that we need to ensure food security throughout Europe.
‘Beyond this there are possible humanitarian catastrophes about to happen in the Horn of Africa and parts of the Middle East. We cannot allow this to happen. The Russians have weaponised food and energy.
‘We need to get some detail on what conversations are happening regarding block buying fuels, mitigation or facilitating renewables. We need to know’.
He said the ‘biggest danger’ to European democracy is ‘the fact there have been failures throughout Europe to look after working people and those on the periphery’.
He said: ‘There has to be engagement from the Government with the European Commission and others throughout Europe from the point of view of what can be done to mitigate the huge costs of fuel and electricity.
‘While I accept that we cannot do everything, there definitely is more that can be done.
‘I was very glad to see continued solidarity with Ukraine at a recent COSAC meeting in Prague. While there was great support for accession for Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and the western Balkans, it was also accepted that the European Union has to be about rule of law.
‘There will be a need for all of these countries to ensure that they can step up to the mark’.
And the government, as well as Europe, needs to prepare for Irish unity. Deputy Ó Murchú said: ‘I have heard in Europe considerable interest in Ireland and the particular issues in the North and continued solidarity on the Irish protocol, but it was realised that the conversation in Ireland has changed and that we are moving towards Irish unity.
‘There is a need for those preparations to happen here. We need the Government to step up to the mark and we will need the European Union to do its preparatory work’.