Published: Thu, 13 November 2014
MEPs will today (Thursday) vote in favour of a joint resolution on the Peace Process in Northern Ireland in a gesture of support and solidarity, according to Sean Kelly MEP and Leader of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament.
Speaking in Brussels ahead of the vote this afternoon, Mr Kelly, a co-signatory of the resolution on behalf of the EPP Group, said the EU had already played an important role in supporting the implementation of the peace process in Northern Ireland, alongside other international partners, and will continue to do so.
“This resolution was agreed by all political groupings in the European Parliament, involving Irish MEPs from all parties and MEPs on a cross-border basis. It is an important signal of the Parliament’s support for the peace process and hope for future progress,” he said.
The resolution recognises the powerful and positive example of conflict resolution that Northern Ireland has become due to the peace and reconciliation work in Northern Ireland. It notes the EU’s PEACE Programme strengthened progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation by assisting activities and projects which help to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society for everyone.
“In expressing concern at the impasse, we have also welcomed the all-party talks in the North to try to reach an agreement on outstanding issues. Importantly, it encourages all parties to engage in these talks positively with a view to resolving all outstanding issues,” Mr Kelly continued.
Yesterday, Mr Kelly met Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson and UUP Leader Mike Nesbitt in Brussels, having met Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness two weeks ago. MEP Kelly described the meetings as “constructive and informative”.
Mr Kelly and his Fine Gael colleagues also travelled to Belfast last month and met the current SDLP Lord Mayor of Belfast, Nichola Mallon, other politicians and community representatives to hear first-hand accounts of the situation in Northern Ireland. During the visit, the Fine Gael delegation voiced their support for a peaceful, prosperous Northern Ireland for the benefit of all citizens and called on the EU to prioritise its role in further peace and reconciliation through funding programmes.