Just The Facts

European Movement Ireland is an independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organisation working to develop the connection between Ireland and Europe since its founding in 1954.

As per our practice at general elections, European Movement Ireland has published this factual overview of excerpts from political party manifestos framed around a number of EU issues. This is to provide a resource for voters interested in gauging where parties stand on issues relating to the EU, Brexit, etc.

Therefore, this overview focuses specifically on policies that relate to the EU and is taken directly from each manifesto under a number of themes:

Ireland’s EU membership

Future of Europe

Climate Change and Environment

Brexit and Future relationship with UK

Northern Ireland

Unity on the island of Ireland

Irish Neutrality and EU Security & Defence

EU Trade

EU Fiscal and Budgetary Policy

Refugees and Migration

Other EU related issues

Once the general election was called, all parties were contacted and asked to make available to European Movement Ireland a copy of their election manifesto. The following political party manifestos were received by us and were therefore included:

Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael

Green Party

Labour Party

Sinn Féin

Social Democrats

People Before Profit

At the time of publication, we had not received a copy of a manifesto from the follow:

Aontú, Irish Freedom Party, National Party, Renua Ireland, United People, Workers Party, Worker and Unemployed Action Group

 

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Fianna Fáil Fine Gael Green Party Labour Party Sinn Féin Social Democrats People Before Profit
1 Ireland’s EU membership Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No
2 Future of Europe Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
3 Climate Change and Environment Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
4 Brexit and Future relationship with UK Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
5 Northern Ireland Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
6 Unity on the island of Ireland Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
7 Irish Neutrality and EU Security & Defence Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
8 EU Trade Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes
9 EU Fiscal Policy Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
10 Refugees and Migration Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes
11 Other EU related issues Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No

 

Ireland's EU Membership

Fianna Fáil

“Fianna Fáil is deeply proud of our role in guiding Ireland into the EEC in 1973 and the immense contribution it has played in the betterment of Irish life. We need to strengthen the Union and ensure it has a positive impact on citizen’s lives while respecting and working with the fundamental role of member nation states.” (pg.140)

Fine Gael

“Fine Gael is the party of Europe. Following a vote of party members, ‘Europe and Openness’ was added to our Party’s values – the core beliefs around which we base our policies and ideas for the future. Europe has always been, and will continue to be, interwoven with Fine Gael’s policies.” (pg. 7)

Green Party

“Recognise that Ireland has benefited enormously from our membership of the European Union and are committed to playing an active role on European stage.” (pg. 65)

Labour

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on Ireland’s membership of the EU.

Sinn Féin

“Ireland’s place is in the European Union, but the European Union does need to change. The EU is far from perfect but the only way to address that and change it is from within. Our policy towards the European Union remains one of critical engagement.” (pg. 48)

Social Democrats

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on Ireland’s membership of the EU.

People Before Profit

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on Ireland’s membership of the EU.

Future of Europe

Fianna Fáil

“We will promote an information campaign in universities about EU job opportunities such as the Stagiaire programme” (pg. 141);

“We will encourage secondments from the public service to EU bodies to build up experience” (pg. 141);

“We will work with EU colleagues to expand the InterRail pilot program to enable more young people, and those with disabilities (pg. 141), to enjoy this special experience”;

“We will strengthen EU/Oireachtas links” (pg. 142);

“We will support the reform of the EU’s Internal Security Fund to develop and strengthen cross-border operations, best practise exchange and quick information transfers” (pg. 142);

“We support the creation of an EU agency to protect democracy” (pg. 142);

“We will work with our EU partners to link EU funding to upholding the protection of the rule of law” (pg.142).

Fine Gael

“Ireland wants to play a positive role in shaping Europe’s future, including the big challenges like climate change and migration, while securing the future of key programmes such as CAP, Horizon, Erasmus and Interreg” (pg. 51);

“At a time when some countries are turning inwards and choosing nationalism ahead of multilateralism, the EU must step up and demonstrate the power of shared decision-making. As Ireland is a global island, we believe that multilateralism strengthens, not diminishes, our diversity, our self-confidence and our security” (pg. 7);

“Ireland and the EU must play its part in shaping together the kind of world in which the people of Ireland want to live, rather than having us live in a world shaped by others.” (pg. 7)

Green Party

“Extend Dáil voting rights to Irish citizens living abroad for up to five years and to EU citizens living in Ireland for five years or more” (pg. 58);

“Seek to establish an EU Unit in every local authority to partner on climate and energy projects with other municipalities” (pg. 59);

“Pressing for greater democratisation of the Union by increasing the powers of the European Parliament relative to the Council of Ministers” (pg. 65);

“Improving Ireland’s poor record of compliance with EU Directives, especially in the areas of social and environmental legislation.” (pg. 65)

Labour

“We will ensure that Ireland takes an active part in the Conference on the Future Europe due to start in May 2020.” (pg. 12)

“As part of the second largest political family in Europe, Labour will push for reform of the European Union, greater transparency of EU decision-making and a greater emphasis by the EU on supporting social policy, housing, healthcare, job security, sustainability and quality of life.” (pg. 12)

Sinn Féin

“We will lead efforts to reform and democratise the EU, we will oppose any efforts to further federalise and militarise the EU. We will also oppose trade agreements, like CETA and Mercosur, which will undermine democracy, our legal system, undermine environmental regulations, workers’ rights, our agriculture industry and damage Small Medium Enterprises.” (pg. 45);

“Many aspects of our society, from community groups to business and education to agriculture, have been able to grow and expand as a result of the support they have received from the European Union. We acknowledge the role that the European Union played in the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement and we want to see the EU to continue in that role post-Brexit. We will support what is right and good for Ireland while challenging shortcomings wherever we find them. In doing so, we want to build a better Europe.” (pg. 48)

“We will seek to return powers to EU member states and increase the influence of member state parliaments in the EU legislative process. We support reforms of the EU which are aimed at reducing the power of the European Commission, making it more transparent and accountable to the European and member state parliaments, and increasing the influence of smaller member states.” (pg. 48);

“Sinn Féin will build a fairer and more democratic European Union that works for the people of Europe, not for the EU insiders, middle-men and corporate interests. Greater transparency must be introduced, the militarisation agenda halted, social protections legally bolstered and powers returned to member states.” (pg. 48)

Social Democrats

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on the Future of Europe.

People Before Profit

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on the Future of Europe.

Climate Change and Environment

Fianna Fáil

“We will amend the role of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, to develop a Green Homes Agency. This will be the national simplified body to undertake retrofitting homes. It will be tasked with accessing European Green Deal funds as well as private finance. The agency will be tasked with financing a new simplified, easy access scheme across all tenure types that will revolutionise home energy usage in Ireland. The agency will undertake work across a number of areas” (pg. 105);

“We will work to develop an EU wide common food wastage policy to help reduce wastage along all points of the food supply chain.” (pg. 109)

Fine Gael

“We believe that farmers are central to the protection of biodiversity and maintaining ecosystems. We will continue to invest strategically in programmes under the CAP that support biodiversity” (pg. 62);

“Put smart finance in place (e.g. loan guarantee models, European Investment Bank funding) [under a plan for warmer homes]” (pg. 74);

“We are committed to the environmental objectives of the CFP, which has introduced measures aimed at sustaining fish stocks, through the ending of discards, quotas based on science and the internationally recognised concept of Maximum Sustainable Yield.” (pg. 80)

Green Party

“The European Commission is proposing an increase in the overall EU CO2 emissions target to a 50-55% reduction by 2030 and Ireland needs to set at least that level of ambition if we are to play our part in the transition.” (pg. 8);

“One of the first tasks of the new government will be to work with the European Commission in the development of the National Energy and Climate Action Plan for 2030, so that we play our part in delivering on the commitments we have signed up to in the Paris Climate Agreement.” (pg. 8);

“We will also access EIB financing to provide core capital funding to back a State guarantee for finance raised for the deep retrofitting of private residential buildings.” (pg. 12);

“We support the recommendations of the EU commission to integrate shipping emissions into overall carbon reduction targets.” (pg. 18);

“Our aim is to create an ecologically sustainable, socially just and peaceful Union.” (pg. 65);

Labour

“Labour will implement the coming EU ban on single-use plastics and promote the development of indigenous enterprises providing alternatives to plastics, including plastic substitutes made from Irish-grown wood.” (pg. 14)

“Labour will seek changes to EU rules to define pumped hydroelectricity plants as energy storage, and part of grid operations, rather than as power stations. This will allow Eirgrid to invest in more of these facilities as a mechanism to manage variable electricity supply from wind.” (pg. 19)

Sinn Féin

“The EU Commission has highlighted Ireland as one of the best countries for biofuel potential. It has been projected that Biomass and Biogas could make up as much as 14% of Ireland’s renewable energy by 2030, two sources of energy, which are produced by agricultural waste.” (pg. 19);

“Sinn Féin will support the principle of ensuring the new CAP eco-schemes apply to all farmers to ensure a level playing field. We will also work to ensure equality of payments for compliant farmers at an equal rate per hectare to all to avoid a repeat of the unfair variable greening provisions in the last CAP.” (pg. 19)

“We will also ensure that farm systems that encourage Carbon sequestration are promoted and rewarded within the CAP payment system.” (pg. 20)

“We would ensure agriculture is sustainable. We will support farming communities so they can continue to have a livelihood while contributing to the EU 2030 climate and energy targets.” (pg. 32);

Social Democrats

“Explore through European institutions the possibility of reduced VAT rates for the repair of goods and how better regulation could ensure goods are longer lasting and repairable.” (pg. 67)

“The Social Democrats recognise that there is an urgent need to reduce the demand for and supply of plastics, and as well as supporting EU-wide initiatives in the area… We would introduce a deposit return scheme for recyclable containers (and other waste streams where possible) building on the excellent examples in Norway, Sweden and Germany.” (pg. 68)

People Before Profit

“Act now to achieve an agreed Paris target level of Co2 mitigation to limit warming below two degrees centigrade in unison with other European countries.” (pg. 27)

Brexit and Future Relationship with the UK

Fianna Fáil

“We will establish new formal structures for dialogue between the Irish and British governments, along the style of the Nordic Council of Ministers (pg. 130) ; will safeguard Irish interests in future EU-UK discussion by fighting for reciprocal access to fishing waters and protect Ireland’s quotas.” (pg. 97)

“We will engage with all members of the Oireachtas to maintain a cohesive national approach to this critical issue.” (pg. 129)

“Continue to advance Ireland’s unique position at EU level during the second phase of the negotiations; Seek support from the EU for our most vulnerable sectors; Engage intensively with businesses and SMES that have not taken steps to prepare for Brexit.” (pg. 129)

“Review the eligibility criteria for Brexit supports that have a low take up; Ensure that the public are fully informed about the potential implications of Brexit on their everyday lives.” (pg. 129)

“We will work to secure a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the least disruption possible.” (pg. 129)

“We will make maintaining a level playing field a central plank of the future negotiations; will ensure that the UK maintains or stay close to EU environmental, social and labour standards, as well as state aid rules.” (pg. 129)

Fine Gael

“Fine Gael has worked tirelessly to protect the interests of all people on the island of Ireland, north and south, since the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum in 2016. We have had a very clear set of objectives: Protecting the Peace Process; Maintaining the Common Travel Area and reciprocal rights between Ireland and Britain; Ensuring Ireland’s place at the heart of the European Union (EU); Agreeing the closest possible future relationship between the UK and Ireland/EU.” (pg. 5)

“We will establish an ambitious new structure to facilitate high-level bilateral cooperation between Ireland and the UK after Brexit. For example, this could be an enhanced British – Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) or a new body modelled on the Nordic Council.” (pg. 7)

“We recognise the challenge that Brexit poses to our seafood sector with regard to access to fishing grounds, the threat to existing quota share and the potential consequences of the displacement of EU vessels into the Irish EEZ. We will work with like-minded EU Member States to ensure that the implications for fisheries are fully considered throughout negotiations for a future EU-UK relationship. More specifically, we will ensure that fisheries remain an integral part of trade negotiations in the context of Brexit.” (pg. 80)

Green Party

“We are determined to minimise the environmental, economic and social disruption that it will inevitably cause; Engage with the UK government to facilitate their continued involvement in the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative and to maintain existing energy security agreements between the two islands.” (pg. 65);

“Ensure regulatory alignment in the protections provided by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) following their exit from the Union.” (g. 65)

Labour

“Labour will strongly advocate for the rights of Irish citizens in the UK and the maintenance of the Common Travel Area, including the rights to reside, work, vote and access public services in the UK, working with the Irish embassy and consulates, trade unions, civil society groups, business associations and the UK Labour Party.”  (pg. 26)

“Labour will seek to ensure no hardening of the border due to Brexit, and to minimise border infrastructure and checks between Ireland and Britain. Labour will support the full implementation of agreements to maintain the Common Travel Area between Ireland and the UK.” (pg. 26)

“Labour will seek to expand and enhance the British-Irish Council and the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference. We will ensure frequent contact by ministers and officials with their counterparts to replace the loss of contact at EU level post-Brexit, and we’ll ensure strong bilateral cooperation on common interests.” (pg. 26)

“Labour will set up maritime conservation zones to allow Irish fish stocks to recover and also to protect Irish waters from overfishing post-Brexit. This will require enhanced Naval Service resources for enforcement.” (pg. 14)

“Labour will create a Brexit contingency fund to support sectors of the economy facing negative consequences for jobs and livelihoods from Brexit, including a scheme to support the sector in the case of fluctuations in the value of the British Pound.” (pg. 13)

Sinn Féin

“Sinn Féin has successfully focused on the imperative of defending the Good Friday Agreement from the effects of Brexit. Due in no small way to our efforts, this has also become an integral part of the political debate within the European Union and in the USA.” (pg. 15)

Social Democrats

“With the departure of Britain and Northern Ireland from the EU, there is a clear need to re-examine our relationship with Britain and the future of Northern Ireland. We are committed to fostering the closest possible relationship with the UK, support further cross-border collaboration, and prioritise our shared role as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, the St. Andrews Agreement and the 2020 Northern Ireland Agreement.” (pg. 74)

People Before Profit

“Brexit will create huge insecurity in the Irish economy. Britain under the Tories will follow Trump’s example and cut taxes on global corporations. The economic model of turning Ireland into a tax haven could run aground. We need a new job-creation strategy. We can have efficient, high-quality public enterprises, provided that workers, rather than bureaucrats, have more control” (pg. 11);

“Support farmers affected by Brexit.” (pg. 28)

Northern Ireland

Fianna Fáil

“Make a 12.5% Corporate Tax Rate work for both jurisdictions; Create a Border Economic Development Zone to foster growth in the border region. We will allocate €5m to this as an initial investment; Work to amend state aid rules to support SMEs affected by Brexit; Deepen tourism links.” (pg. 133);

“Work with N.I, UK and EU authorities to source funding to build the Narrow Water Bridge. We will provide an allocation of €12m as part of Ireland’s contribution to the bridge over the next five years; Secure long-term EU-UK agreement on PEACE and INTERREG programme funding.” (p.g 133);

“Ensure the systematic exchange of information between Dublin and Belfast including consultation on EU regulations and regulatory compliance insofar as they may impact on North/South trade.” (pg. 134);

Fine Gael

“Implementation of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland is a key priority for us. The Specialised and Joint Committees of the EU and the UK will be making important decisions on the protocol’s implementation and Ireland will need to engage closely with these processes, to ensure the successful bedding down of the new arrangements from an economic and political point of view.” (pg. 6)

“Fine Gael will work to ensure that people in Northern Ireland continue to enjoy access to EU rights, opportunities and benefits into the future. We have made commitments in respect of access to the benefits of the European Health Insurance Card and progressed bespoke legislation in the Oireachtas, as well as working on solutions for the Erasmus+ programme in the context of a no-deal scenario.” (pg. 6)

“We will seek a PEACE PLUS programme for Northern Ireland and the border counties worth up to €1 billion, as part of the EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) negotiations. We will also seek to continue to include Northern Ireland and Wales in Interreg.” (pg. 6)

Green Party

“Create structures that will enable the creation of an all-island agreement on environmental protection and cross border enforcement of standards.” (pg. 10)

“Maintain a completely open border on the island of Ireland and promote an all-island approach to land use planning and river basin management plans, to stop cross border pollution and deliver a common approach to the climate and biodiversity crisis” (pg. 65);

Labour

“Labour will actively support the full implementation of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.” (pg. 12)

“Labour will support getting all the North-South and East-West bodies fully operational again now that Stormont has reconvened.” (pg. 12)

“Labour will support the emergence of a new or enhanced non-sectarian labour/social democratic option on the ballot paper in Northern Ireland, led by politicians from Northern Ireland.” (pg. 12)

Sinn Féin

“In its negotiations with the EU, the Irish Government repeatedly emphasised the urgent necessity of protecting the Good Friday Agreement. The Government, supported by Sinn Féin’s very effective team of MEPs, was successful in ensuring that the European Commission repeatedly stated the importance of protecting the Good Friday Agreement. This is reflected in almost every statement and comment made by EU leaders. It is reflected in the outcome of the negotiations, which led to the least worst Brexit deal with the Johnson Government.” (pg. 15);

“Sinn Féin has successfully focussed on the imperative of defending the Good Friday Agreement from the effects of Brexit. Due in no small way to our efforts, this has also become an integral part of the political debate within the European Union and in the USA” (pg. 15);

“Sinn Féin continue to advocate for the establishment of an EU Brexit Relief Fund to compensate Farmers and SMEs for economic damage caused by Brexit related shocks.” (pg. 17)

“Continued access to citizens in North to the European Health Insurance Scheme.” (pg. 61)

Social Democrats

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on Northern Ireland.

People Before Profit

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on Northern Ireland.

Unity on the island of Ireland

Fianna Fáil

“We will establish within the Department of an Taoiseach a unit to lead a formal study and cross-community consultation on a Green Paper to outline how the Irish government should approach the handling of any unity referendum should circumstances arise where it can be called.” (pg. 134)

Fine Gael

“Bunreacht na hÉireann affirms our national aspiration for territorial unity. Fine Gael, the United Ireland Party, shares that aspiration, based on the principle of consent and a majority, north and south, being in favour.” (pg. 12)

“Calls for a border poll at this time, which are not properly thought through, are only likely to exacerbate division and uncertainty. Fine Gael will continue to work to build consensus across political parties and civic society – both north and south – on the most appropriate way to maintain and strengthen relationships on the island of Ireland.” (pg. 12)

“Fine Gael is committed to maintaining the all-island civic dialogue in the context of Brexit but also as a useful structure to discuss future challenges to relationships on the island of Ireland.” (pg. 12)

Green Party

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on unity on the island of Ireland.

Labour

“Labour will seek an inclusive, non-sectarian public conversation on the future of Ireland, modelled on the New Ireland Forum of the 1980s, including discussion of a potential unitary Irish state while open to other political views including British Unionist perspectives.” (pg. 12)

Sinn Féin

“The EU through its negotiations on Brexit has demonstrated concern about the peace process and the future of the Good Friday Agreement. It has already accepted that, in the event of Unity, the North would automatically become part of the EU. This European goodwill can be harnessed.” (pg. 16);

“Brexit has forced many to consider their constitutional future. There are increasing contributions to the unity debate from a wide variety of people, with many citing Brexit as a catalyst for their considerations.” (pg. 16);

“We acknowledge the role that the European Union played in the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement and we want to see the EU to continue in that role post-Brexit.” (pg. 48);

“Establish a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Irish Unity; Establish an all-island representative Citizens’ Assembly or appropriate forum to discuss and plan for Irish Unity; Publish a White Paper on Irish Unity; Secure a referendum, north and south, on Irish Unity.” (pg. 9).

Social Democrats

“We believe that a United Ireland, achieved by consent, has the real potential to benefit the people of the entire island economically, politically and culturally. We will therefore work towards achieving this in a spirit of mutual respect of all peoples who share this island and based on a foundation of Social Democratic principles.” (pg. 75)

People Before Profit

“People Before Profit are a 32-county party with a vision for a Socialist Ireland. The threat of a hard border brought about by a Tory Brexit has reanimated the question of the border and partition. We believe that people, North and South, have a right to decide the future of the border and of Ireland as a whole.” (pg. 39)

“A Border Poll by simultaneous votes North and South of the border should be held to determine the future of this island.” (pg. 39)

“A vote for Irish Unity is not just a vote to join the existing Northern and Southern states – it would be a vote cast in the hope of a new and better Ireland. People should play an active role in creating their destiny in a United Ireland through a series of citizens assemblies and a constituent assembly to draw up a new constitution enshrining rights and dignity for all.” (pg. 39)

Ireland's Neutrality and EU Security & Defence

Fianna Fáil

“Fianna Fáil is dedicated to Ireland’s policy of military neutrality; this policy of military neutrality has gone hand in hand with strong support to international co-operation for peace and stability, as manifested in Ireland’s participation in UN mandated peacekeeping operations.” (pg. 138)

“Fianna Fáil reaffirms its commitment to the retention of the Triple Lock of UN mandate or authorisation, Government and Dáil approval prior to committing Defence Forces personnel on oversea services.” (pg. 134)

“Will advocate for agreements across these areas [security and defence] that enable the EU and the UK to continue to work together and combine efforts to achieve the same common objectives. Achieving agreements in these areas is central to Ireland’s security and to the security of the EU as a whole.” (pg. 130)

Fine Gael

“We will work at EU level to ensure that the data retention powers available to Member States help to bring criminals to justice and we will continue to update our data retention laws, so that Gardaí are fully enabled to bring criminals to justice.” (pg. 82)

“We will continue to ensure that the Defence Forces have the appropriate resources to maintain this commitment in the years ahead. Utilising this experience and Ireland’s position of military neutrality, we will actively engage in the international stage and continue to espouse the importance of multilateralism in support of international peace and security.” (pg. 87)

Green Party

“We will oppose the expansion of the Permanent Structured Cooperation on Security and Defence (PESCO) into areas that are not compatible with Ireland’s non-aligned and peacekeeping defence tradition (pg. 65); We propose the establishment of regular random spot checks on all aircraft landing in 66 Shannon and other Irish airports to ensure that no such flights are carrying weapons, engaged in the rendition of individuals, or in breach of the terms of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation or the place to protect Irish neutrality.”(pg. 66)

“We advocate a strengthening of the pan-European Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) as well as the United Nations (pg. 65); We will oppose the expansion of the Permanent Structured Cooperation on Security and Defence (PESCO) into areas that are not compatible with Ireland’s non-aligned and peacekeeping defence tradition.” (pg.65)

Labour

“Under Labour, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will develop Ireland’s strategic relationships with EU member states post-Brexit, while also developing new formal and informal links between Ireland and the UK, for trade as well as political co-operation.” (pg. 26)

“Labour will strongly promote adherence to human rights, democratic freedoms and international law among EU member states and in countries on Europe’s borders.” (pg. 26)

“[Under Labour] The Department [of Defence] will review Ireland’s defence policy in the context of the UK leaving the EU, to ensure Ireland’s capacity to patrol its own airspace and waters effectively.” (pg. 21)

Sinn Féin

“We will oppose the further militarisation of the EU and attempts to create a standing EU army. We would terminate Ireland’s involvement in EU Battle Groups and the use of Irish airports by foreign armies engaged in war” (pg. 45);

“Sinn Féin opposed the creation of PESCO and, in Government, we will ensure Ireland plays absolutely no part in PESCO.” (pg. 45)

“We must not become bound by a common EU foreign policy decided in Brussels. Sinn Féin is committed to an independent and progressive Irish international relations policy, one that will prioritise neutrality, human rights, conflict resolution, mutually beneficial trade, development, international law, and equality” (pg. 45);

“Sinn Féin voted against Ireland joining Operation Sophia, an EU military mission to push vulnerable people and refugees back to war-torn Libya. In Government, we will remove Ireland from this counterproductive and dangerous EU military mission, which is leading to human rights violations; we will begin negotiations to restart an Irish naval mission which is purely focused on search and rescue.” (pg. 46)

Social Democrats

“We oppose any expansion of PESCO into areas which have the potential to interfere with our tradition of military non-alignment.” (pg. 74)

People Before Profit

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on Irish Neutrality and EU Security & Defence.

EU Trade

Fianna Fáil

“Ireland is a small open economy that looks outwards in its ambitions. We have thrived and prospered by fully engaging with the EU and international trade.” (pg. 22)

Fine Gael

“As an export-led island nation, we rely on overseas markets for the vast majority of our food produce. We will firmly defend Ireland’s interests in international trade deals that may emerge, working with our network of colleagues in the European Commission, the EPP and our strong team of representatives in the European Parliament. We will work closely with the agri-food sector to secure access to priority markets and to avail of opportunities that existing markets such as China and Japan afford the sector.” (pg. 58)

“We back EU efforts to negotiate new and additional free and fair-trade agreements, alongside ongoing talks with Australia and New Zealand, while defending our high standards and preventing unfair trade practices. We believe that we must seek to progress negotiations on a trade deal with the US, without lowering EU standards. We are committed to carrying out a full economic and sustainability assessment of the headline EU/ Mercosur trade agreement, to inform future action on the ratification of this deal.” (pg. 9)

Green Party

“Work to secure a comprehensive free trade agreement between the EU and the UK which protects existing social and environmental standards” (pg. 65);

“We commit to supporting rural communities and the sectors of the economy that will be most affected by Brexit and will work to avoid a regulatory ‘race to the bottom’ as the details of the future relationship between the EU and the UK are negotiated.” (pg. 65);

“We will continue to resist international trade agreements involving the European Union which involve a lowering of the environmental and social standards that the Union upholds.” (pg. 66)

Labour

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on EU trade.

Sinn Féin

“We will seek a growth and investment-oriented policy of the EU, aimed at creating quality jobs and at defending workers’ pay and conditions.” (pg. 48);

“Sinn Féin in Government will inform the European institutions that Ireland will not ratify the Mercosur deal and we reject any trade deal that negatively impacts Irish agricultural interests.” (pg. 17);

“The EU-USA Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement (…) have significant negative implications for Ireland, particularly in the areas of agriculture, state sovereignty, democratic decision making, public procurement, workers’ rights, environmental and food safety regulations. In Government, we will remove Ireland from these disastrous agreements and oppose similar future agreements at the European Council level.” (pg. 47);

“Sinn Féin would ensure the State plays a positive role at European and global level as a champion for fair global trade rules and policies that prioritise and support, rather than undermine, the needs of poor countries.” (pg. 47)

Social Democrats

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on EU trade.

People Before Profit

“Fully oppose Mercosur and other forms of neoliberal free-trade agreements.” (pg. 28)

EU Fiscal and Budgetary Policy

Fianna Fáil

“Work to complete the EU banking union with a Eurozone wide Deposit Insurance scheme to withstand future shocks to the system” (pg. 19);

“Revamp the European Stability Mechanism into a new European Monetary Fund to ensure it is fit for purpose in preventing and tackling any future financial crisis” (pg. 19);

“A Eurozone budget and joint bond issues will help to address the imbalance between monetary union and the lack of a fiscal union” (pg. 19);

“Will work with our EU colleagues to build up a mutually beneficial Fiscal union” (pg. 19);

“Will work for a review of the Eurozone spending rules to enable further capital investment in critical infrastructure” (pg. 19);

“We will maintain our 12.5% Corporate Tax rate.” (pg. 18)

Fine Gael

“We are willing to contribute more to the Multiannual Financial Framework, provided that we can achieve the right budget for Europe and Ireland.” (pg. 51)

“We have balanced the books and moved to a healthy surplus of over €2 billion in 2019. We are targeting a budgetary surplus of 1% by 2021, improving incrementally to 1.3% by 2025. This buffer is essential, as we are facing increasingly uncertain times. Britain will leave the EU, and while we will seek to negotiate the best possible future relationship deal for Ireland, it will not be as good as common EU membership,” (pg. 48)

“We have clearly signalled that we are prepared to contribute more to the overall EU budget, if it is spent on measures that advance the European ideal. These include programmes that work and have stood the test of time, like the CAP, which has given Europe food security and helped to balance regional development across the Continent.” (pg. 58)

“Fine Gael is committed to the 12.5% Corporation Tax rate and the retention of national sovereignty over taxation policy.” (pg. 51)

Green Party

“Make corporate tax sustainable at the 12.5% rate by supporting the OECD process for global corporate tax reform which aims to stop unfair tax avoidance practices.” (pg. 24);

“Support proposals for a European Financial Transactions Tax, especially on speculative investments such as hedge funds and derivatives.” (pg. 24)

Labour

“Labour will push for reform of the EU, especially reform to its fiscal rules and monetary policy to allow greater levels of public investment in climate action, to build homes, to improve public services and to create sustainable jobs. Labour will seek to raise the ECB’s inflation target to an average inflation of 3-4% and to give the ECB a dual mandate to seek full employment as well as price stability.” (pg. 12)

“Labour will introduce a minimum effective rate of Corporation Tax of 12.5%, which will be lower for companies that locate to disadvantaged regions of the country. Labour will conduct a major review of the sustainability of Ireland’s Corporation Tax base.” (pg. 25)

Sinn Féin

“During the transition period before the implementation of the new CAP Sinn Féin will advocate for a continuation of the full annual funding allocation rather than the reduced budget proposed by the commission.” (pg. 18);

“Sinn Féin values foreign direct investment and is committed to retaining the 12.5% corporation tax rate that has been key in attracting many multinational corporations to locate in Ireland.” (pg. 23)

“We have opposed cuts to the EU Budget for important strategic sectors such as agriculture, regional development and investment in jobs and growth.” (pg. 48);

“In light of Brexit and as an-island nation, our Ports are a crucial part of our connectivity with the wider world. They require ongoing investment and Sinn Féin would push for maximum use of EU funding streams to make sure all our ports remain viable and add to the national and regional economies.” (pg. 96);

Social Democrats

“In the near term, we are committed to maintaining the 12.5% corporate tax rate which is an important factor in our competitiveness as an FDI location – however, we would regularise our treatment of all companies to ensure that 12.5% is collected.” (pg. 91)

People Before Profit

“Drop the Apple tax case against the EU and take the €14 billion tax award. Make all companies pay a minimum rate of corporation tax of 12.5 percent on their profits. This means closing off loopholes.” (pg. 10)

Refugees and Migration

Fianna Fáil

“We work with EU colleagues and international community to help address the underlying causes of the migrant crisis across the Middle East and North Africa.”

“Cooperate with the EU to maintain and strengthen common borders to secure the integrity of the EU.” “Continue to support improved conditions for refugees in camps in the Middles East, including the release of further EU funding for this purpose.”

“We will insist that Europe remains true to its democratic and inclusive values.” (pg. 146)

Fine Gael

“We do not believe that the current model [of Direct Provision] is fit for purpose for the long-term. The State has asked the former Secretary General to the European Commission, Catherine Day, to chair a small expert group to identify international best practice in the provision of services to applicants for international protection and to consider future migration trends. The group will complete its work late in 2020 and we will respond speedily to its recommendations.” (pg. 10)

“We have also provided sanctuary to those fleeing the harrowing violence in Syria and other war-torn regions, through the Irish Refugee Protection Programme. We have sought to show solidarity to fellow EU Member States at the frontline of the migration crisis. We will continue to play our part in the EU’s response to meeting the needs of asylum seekers and refugees and develop longer term expert-informed strategies to ensure that we are equipped to meet future challenges.” (pg. 9)

Green Party

“Our vision is for an Ireland free of racism, hatred and marginalisation of migrant communities (pg. 38); aid directed towards the ongoing refugee crisis in the Mediterranean should be coordinated with the EU, with refugee housing funding a priority.” (pg. 66)

Labour

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on Refugees and Migration.

Sinn Féin

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on Refugees and Migration.

Social Democrats

An EU position was not specifically outlined in their election manifesto on Refugees and Migration.

People Before Profit

“Give proper recognition to the qualifications of non-EU migrants. This will help to integrate communities (pg. 33); Give voting rights to migrants living and working in Ireland.” (pg. 37)

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