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Time to re-introduce objectivity and balance into our national dialogue on Europe-Minister Creighton

European Union, Press Releases, Europe, 2011

The Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, T.D., has today (Tuesday) called for objectivity and balance to be restored to our national dialogue on membership of the European Union. Speaking at a lunch organised by the Irish Institute for European Affairs, Minister of State Creighton called for a more enlightened public debate about the European project and its future. 

Minister Creighton said: “We need to reintroduce objectivity and balance into our national dialogue on Europe.  It is clear that Ireland would not have achieved the social and economic progress it has in the past 40 years without EU membership.  This simple fact is being erased from our collective national memory bank.   The support of our friends in Europe, not least our friends in Germany and France, has been crucial. It is disturbing, in that context, to listen to the constant stream of negative coverage specifically targeted at these two stalwart friends of long standing.” 

She continued: “The media narrative, de rigueur, is that we are in terminal decline and it is largely down to anonymous, faceless Eurocrats and European bankers.  It is a simple way to wash our hands of our own political and fiscal mismanagement, and focus the blame elsewhere.  We can play the victim and blame others for our woes, rather than face up to the after effects of bad decision-making, bad policy, bad governance and dare I say it, poor judgement on the part of voters who time and again chose willingly to vote for spendthrift political manifestos. “ 

“Membership of the EEC/EU has transformed our country and the benefits are clear. It has been of vital importance to Ireland over the past four decades, economically, politically and in terms of social development. Joining the EC in 1973 was an act of nation-building with arguably more tangible positive benefits for Ireland’s independence than the 1916 Rising.”