Matt Carthy MEP: Incoming Commission a case of ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has confirmed that Sinn Féin MEPs voted against the appointment of Ursula von der Loyen’s College of Commissioners, stating that the incoming European Commission remains completely out of touch with the experiences of working people across the EU.
Speaking from Strasbourg, the Midlands North West MEP said: “This is a case of, ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’. The incoming Commission President praised the legacy of Jean-Claude confirming that, from personnel to policy, this is just more of the same at a time when the European Union requires fundamental reform.
“From the statements of Ms von der Loyen it is clear that her intention is to continue down the same failed path as Juncker, and she has no comprehension of the struggles facing the people of Europe.
“The incoming Commission President spent most of her speech to MEPs discussing the need for the EU to compete on the global stage when it comes to digitalisation and new technologies. Most people living in the EU are not concerned about whether Europeans invent the next big thing – they are concerned about job insecurity, the relentless increase in the cost of living while wages continue to stagnate, the likelihood of a new recession and the climate crisis.
“In the one area where she signalled an intention to advance – the Green Deal – the actual policy was left vague and undefined.
“The biggest problem here is that the priorities outlined today are totally contradictory. Ms von der Loyen acknowledged that the ‘twin transitions’ of climate and digitalisation require massive investment in the EU. But at the same time she continues to champion the strangling Stability and Growth pact and the rules of the common currency – which tie the hands of governments when it comes to making the type of investments that are desperately needed.
“She has signalled her intention to follow the Juncker plan funding model of putting up limited public funds as a guarantee for private companies. Juncker promised that this would mobilise massive private investment in the wake of the financial crisis and recession, and it demonstrably failed.
“In a period where demand is low, and consumer and business sentiment is wary, this model will again fail dismally in mobilising the kind of investment we need to meet the EU’s climate goals – no matter how many financial regulations are cut under the Capital Market’s Union.
“The endorsement of her predecessors’ vicious economic policies speaks volumes. This is the legacy that has left the Irish people with an outstanding bank bailout debt of €42 billion that it costs us a billion a year just to service. This is the legacy that means the Greek economy is not expected to return to pre-crisis levels until at least 2034.
“Until the EU final abandons its 1980s-era austerity obsession and its drive towards a dangerous militarisation agenda; serious action on climate change, technological innovation and sustainable economic growth will remain pipe dreams. Above all this commission is set to reinforce the democratic divide between EU institutions and citizens at a time when fundamental reform is required.
“For us in Sinn Féin we acknowledge that Ireland’s place is in the EU; but the EU itself most become more responsive to democratic demands and the needs of citizens. There is no evidence that this incoming commission is up to that task.”