Patricia McKenna (Independent)
candidate EU elections
This profile has been archived. You can no more ask questions to this politician.

© Patricia McKenna
year born
professional qualification
Irish Independent Politician
residence (town, city, district)
(...) Moves to bring Irish Army operations into the evolving EU military structures are presented as if they only relate to peacekeeping activities but the underlying EU goal is much wider than just peacekeeping. (...) Is it not more likely is that they will expect us to go along with their view of what an EU military force should be used for? (...)
personal website
Questions to Patricia McKenna
select question and answers by category
send me a mail to this email address, as soon as the answer arrives
Bitte loggen Sie sich hier ein.
Issue Environment

Dear Patricia

Congradulations on your seperation from a redundant party.

With this in mind, what issues will you be campaigning subject to your re-election to Europe.

Many Thanks
answer sent by Patricia McKenna
none yetrecommendations
Dear ,

Thanks for your words of support on my leaving the Green Party. It was not an easy decision and going independent is a bit of a daunting task. But I felt it was the right thing to do. Regarding the issues I will be campaigning on - the key issue will be political accountability and holding the decision makers responsible for their actions and their political promises. I have ten years experience in the European Parliament and I know how the system works. The main policy areas I have focus on so far in this campaign are:

Make EU more Democratic and hold the decision makers accountable. About 80% of our laws originate in Brussels. We need to be kept informed about these laws before they are agreed. Regardless of whether these laws are good or bad we have a right to know -we are paying for them and it´s our lives that are affected by them. A voice independent of the Government and political establishment will ensure that.

Workers Rights

The Lisbon Treaty debate highlighted the threat to our hard fought for employment rights. We must work to protect these rights from the impact of European Court of Justice Rulings ]. - this court is not a Human Rights based but commercial market interests take priority. Irish workers are now in daily competition with foreign workers and all are being exploited under the guise of the economic crisis -lower standards, lower wages and no job security - so that big business can continue to cream of the profits.


Ireland´s compliance with EU environmental laws is more important than ever. With a number of EU legal cases pending [* still have some way to go to catch up with other member states. In particular the Habitats and Environmental Impact Assessment directives need to be fully complied with. My ten years experience (1994 - 2004) on the European Parliament´s Environment Committee will be invaluable in helping to achieve this goal. We need a strong voice Independent of Government to push for full enforcement.

Militarization & Neutrality

For many years peace and neutrality groups [ ] have been highlighting the fact that he EU is becoming more militarised. But the political establishment has belittled our efforts and claimed we were alarmists but now there can be no denying the fact that this is exactly what is happening. Ireland has supported this militarised direction of the EU and is involved in EU Rapid Reaction Forces, EU Battle Groups and EU Arms Agencies (EDA) [ ]. All these have been set up at the behest of the pro-military lobbyists and arms manufactures. Even if people agree with these developments we still need a strong voice to speak out and tell us what is going on.

Powerful Lobbyists

Unknown to most people, huge amounts of EU legislation gets drafted and fine-tuned by literally thousands of unknown and hardly accountable expert groups, advisory committees and working groups. Even those who make it their business to deep track of EU decision making processes find it impossible to know exactly what is going on and who is involved. Well-funded lobbyists have huge influence behind the scenes. We need an independent voice to push for a register of lobbyists at both EU and national level.

EU Subsidies

EU subsidies should go to those who need them most not to big multinationals or wealthy landowners. Last year alone Ireland´s Greencore Group received over €8 million and the former Kerry Group received € 5 million. Even some sitting TDs in Dail Eireann received subsidies to the tune of €250,000. [ Subsidies are supposed to help the less well off not those at the top it time to change this system. We need a voice to speak for those most in need.

Animal Welfare

The EU has introduced some good laws on animal protection [ ] . I am one of the few Irish politicians to support this issue. If elected I would be valuable source of help and support for groups campaigning on the issue of animal welfare.

Genetically Modified Organisms

I have always been a supporter of plans to make this island a GM-free zone. But we need to work fast as the current Government have done little or nothing and failed to implement the key policies necessary.
flag answer as interesting
Issue Europe's role in the world

Dear Ms McKenna,

The question that I wish to ask you concerns Europe´s trade policy. I am wondering if you are willing to sign the Comhlamh Pledge to work to bring about a full scale re-think of the EU´s trade policy and ensure that it prioritises ideas such as development and human rights.

However, unlike your opponents I cannot find any contact details whatsoever for you online. I would be happy to email you, send a letter or make a phone call.

I would be grateful if you could provide me with a means of contacting you. Elected officials should have at least one of the above lines of communication open between them and those whom they ask for votes from.

All the best,

answer sent by Patricia McKenna
none yetrecommendations
Dear ,

Thank you for your questions. Firstly regarding lack of contact details this should now be rectified and you can get all details on my new website Until very recently my contact details would have been via my old political party but since I am no longer a member of that party they will be unlikely to provide the public with information on how to contact me. I am not, at present, an Elected official so, unfortunately, I dont have the permanent lines communication your refer to and I know people are finding it difficult to reach me. Moving on politically does have its drawbacks I suppose communication links being one of them but hopefully this will change.

I would be delighted to sign the Comhlamh Pledge and I believe that Comhlamh has made a major positive contribution to this issue over the years and I hope it continues to do so and I hope that those in power will start to listen.

I believe there is an urgent need to establish a fairer and more sustainable approach to trade between the EU and the majority world. Take for example, trade between the EU and (ACP) African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The current approach ensures that unfair economic partnership agreements will continue and that the concept of trade will only be a good deal for one side - the EU - allowing it to continue the shameful practice of social and environmental exploitation of the ACP countries.

The European Parliament has a certain role and opportunity to influence in some way free trade deals between the EU and the majority world. These Economic Partnership Agreements negotiated by the EU need much more serious attention. The EU is consistently ignoring is own professed commitment to development in its rush for new trade agreements. Although the Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton promised that there would be changes in the EU Commission´s policy on Economic Partnership Agreements this has not happened in the current deals.

For example the EPA agreement with Cariforum- a number of Caribbean states - provides very few safeguard provisions or opt-outs. It conditions have been strongly criticised by academics, Trade Unions, Parliamentarians and civil society but little notice has been taken of their criticism. This is the first deal to be concluded and it does not bode well for those what will follow.

Also worth noting is the fact that although about half of the Cariforum countries are recognised tax havens this agreement, which is legally-binding, provides for full liberalisation of financial services, which in turn facilitates the set-up of trusts and cross-border movement of a range of speculative over the counter products. It would appear that the EU has learned nothing about the problems of tax havens and it leave the EU exposed due to the lack of proper supervision and regulation of tax havens across the EU.

The interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the Ivory Coast - a country currently beleaguered by internal conflict and without even a legitimate government - raises serious questions about the wisdom of concluding an international agreement with long lasting consequences at this point in time.

As far back as 2000, when I was a member of the European Parliament, the EU promised to examine all alternatives to Economic Partnership Agreements for countries unable to enter into such agreements, and to consider socio-economic effects and the partner country´s level of development. But it has not kept this promise.

The EU presently speaks with a forked tongue on the issue of development, supporting unfettered trade, which allows global corporations to profit without any real benefit to the people who need it.
flag answer as interesting
Issue Social policy

Considering that the European postal directive was adopted in the European Parliament in February 2008 and as a candidate for election do you understand the importance of postal services to your local community?

Do you recognise the vital role played by An Post in delivering the USO and will you work to maintain this?

Will you work to ensure financial support to maintain that universal service but at no cost to the tax payer given that An Post is currently run without government support?

Will you work to maintain the quality jobs in An Post in order to provide quality services even in time of liberalisation and financial crisis?

Will you work to ensure strong postal legislation and a properly constituted national regulation authority with the ability to monitor and enforce that legislation for all postal operators?

Will you support workers involvement in the adoption of new technologies with a view to a well-trained and motivated workforce providing quality postal services?

Do you acknowledge that postal services form an essential and invaluable part of the fabric of our society, particularly in rural areas, which binds communities and citizens, regardless of age, race or status by providing access to a reliable service at a single price?
answer sent by Patricia McKenna
none yetrecommendations
Dear ,

Thank you for your question and yes I do understand the importance of postal
services to local communities and in answer to the seven points you raise
the answer is "Yes" . The concerns you have raised in your questions are
indeed justified and the European Parliament´s decision to defer rather than
to reject full competition says it all.

In 2011 private companies will compete for all letter post, as well as parcel post. Article 12 of the European Postal Directive lays down that "prices must be geared to costs".
Moves to "liberalise" postal services across the EU began in the early 1990s
as part of the push to create a single European market. The first (1997) and
second (2002) EU Postal Services Directives opened parcels and express
postal services to competition. In October 2006, opening the current phase
of liberalisation with a third Postal Services Directive, Charlie McCreevy,
European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, proposed full
competition for the collection and delivery of letters less than 50 grams.
McCreevy told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on July 10 2007: "This
Directive constitutes an essential element of the Lisbon Agenda"

In July 2007, the EU Parliament voted for full, free-market competition in postal services across the EU from 2011. This is a measure that has divided the 27 Member States and angered many of the sector´s two million workers. Postal workers’ trade unions have repeatedly warned that ‘liberalisation’ threatens jobs and universal service provision. Many MEPs have rightly pointed out that we now have a liberalisation directive, which will prove costly in public subsidies, while the previous system, based on tariff solidarity, cost taxpayers nothing”. EU bureaucrats have created a really confusing situation with their plans to fragment postal services which will allow competitors to focus exclusively on lucrative parts of the market. Already in EU member states hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost since the beginning of ‘liberalisation’. Thousands of petitions against this scheme have been submitted to the Commission – but what impact they will have remains to be seen. With this proposal, private operators will use temporary workers, post offices will disappear and be replaced by supermarkets and vital services to the elderly and those living in rural areas will disappear to the detriment of these people and communities. It is clear that the maintenance of post as a public service has been the best guarantee for timely delivery of post regardless of geography. The postman and the post office are in many cases a vital contact not only for rural inhabitants, but also for the economically disadvantaged in urban areas,”. EU-sponsored ‘liberalisation’ will mean a worse service for customers and worse conditions for staff. Member States should be able to preserve the ability to run services and industries for the benefit of their own citizens.

There is still no evidence that measures needed to safeguard against big players coming in and "cherry picking” at the expense of the less commercially attractive parts of the country will be put in place and will be effective. This issue should be of concern to everyone, especially the Government, postal workers, the taxpayer and most of all the consumers in remote areas who may be forced to pay higher prices for the distance their post travels.
flag answer as interesting
Issue EU defence

Do you agree that Ireland should participate in EU peace forces eg in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Sudan etc. Where do you think the Irish army should receive training for these missions and from where should they buy the weapons and material necessary for their participation on these missions?
answer sent by Patricia McKenna
none yetrecommendations
Dear ,

Thank you for your question.

The Irish Army has a long and honoured tradition of peacekeeping that predates EC membership by many years. The UN has been the focus of most of the Army´s peacekeeping work. That has reflected our long standing view that a global body like the UN is a better forum for deciding on military intervention than a military alliance made up of a small number of countries who tend to see things in a narrower perspective.

Moves to bring Irish Army operations into the evolving EU military structures are presented as if they only relate to peacekeeping activities but the underlying EU goal is much wider than just peacekeeping. The goal is to add military muscle to the EU. The Lisbon treaty makes this clear. I think that is a wrong step for the EU and it will divert money and resources into military budgets, taking them away from areas where they are badly needed.

This move to beef up the EU´s military role is accompanied by moves to have the EU ´speak with one voice´ as if that was automatically a good thing. But is it? It would be nice to think that Ireland, one of the few EU countries not to have colonised any other country, could bring the likes of France Germany and the UK around to our way of seeing the world, but history suggests that is an unrealistic ambition. Is it not more likely is that they will expect us to go along with their view of what an EU military force should be used for? Changing the nature of the EU so that it takes on the hallmarks of a military power is a recipe for conflict with our EU partners, and that is why this is better left to the individual member States, with each being free to cooperate with other States as and when they choose. We can do that at present without any treaty change.

Training methods and weapons purchasing are matters for the Irish Army to decide in a way that is consistent with policy priorities set by Government.


Patricia Mc Kenna
flag answer as interesting
Issue Lisbon Treaty

I agree with everything in your reply to Paddy Keogh especially what you have to say about the exploitation of workers. We all know that we have entered an era where most of the work will be done by computerised machines and we need a completely new approach to work. The employers are obviously delighted with the status quo. The government are all at sea.
Perhaps you could put the skids under our trade unions.
answer sent by Patricia McKenna
none yetrecommendations
Dear ,

Thank you for your question.

It now seems that it is down to wage competition between different regions of the EU and the departure of Dell to Poland is just one example. So are the numerous individuals from other member states who are being pushed to work for less than the minimum rate in service stations and shops around the country. Employers are very happy with this situation and also with the fact that inevitably general wage rates will follow-­ assisted in some instances by the latest series of judgments from the ECJ.

The trade union leadership has been enmeshed in a corporatist structure for the past two decades. They conceived of themselves as co-legislators and partnership wage rates were struck on the basis of ESRI/NESC reports.

Now, the government and employers are not interested and the terms of the last National Agreement have been forgotten about. In effect employers will have achieved a wage cut of between 6 and 16% depending on whether they are within the public or private sector.

Therefore, the first thing to do is to fight for the implementation of the terms of "Towards 2016" otherwise­ what point is there in being in a union if they don´t pursue the terms of an agreement that they negotiated and recommended. Then, new ways of working can be considered and if necessary agreed in the normal manner.

But you are correct when you state that unions need to waken up and very fast and begin to provide considered leadership to their members.
flag answer as interesting
Your question to Patricia McKenna
The question-submitting tool has already been closed.