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EU electionsCandidatesDublinPatricia McKenna

Patricia McKenna (Independent)

Year born

Professional qualification

Irish Independent Politician


Phone number
+353 (0) 85 786 2952


© Patricia McKenna
Questions to Patricia McKenna
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Civil rights, data protection and political participation
Question from

Ms McKenna,

If elected with which grouping in the European Parliament do you see yourself joining?

Reply from
Patricia McKenna

no reply so far
Lisbon Treaty
Question from

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.
Reply from
Patricia McKenna

no reply so far
EU defence
Question from

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?
Reply from
Patricia McKenna

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
Social policy
Question from

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?
Reply from
Patricia McKenna

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.
Europe's role in the world
Question from

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,

Reply from
Patricia McKenna

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 www.patriciamckenna.eu 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.
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