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EU electionsCandidatesDublinProinsias De Rossa

Proinsias De Rossa (Labour Party)

Year born

Professional qualification
Experienced public representative

Public representative


Phone number
353 1 874 6109 (Dublin) / 33.322.2845681


Questions to Proinsias De Rossa
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 previous questions to Proinsias De Rossa  
Social policy
Question from

Do you support the liberalisation of the postal services?
The Post Office plays a vital role in our community in terms of jobs and services it provides which must be protected. What steps will you take to ensure that this is the case?
Can we depend on you to be a guardian of the public interest and vital public services?
Do you think taxpayers should be forced to fund An Post in the future when it is run without state aid now?
If not how do you propose to fund the universal service obligation which guarantees that every citizen enjoys a proper postal service with collection and delivery five times a week with a single price to all destinations?
Reply from
Proinsias De Rossa

Dear Colin,

Thanks for your question. In July 2007, the EP agreed to the final stage of the controlled liberalisation of the postal service, a process which began 15 years ago. In particular, the Labour Party and our sister parties in the European Parliament insisted that the liberalisation deadline be pushed back from 2009 (as favoured by Member States´ Governments) to 2011, that the universal service, as provided by An Post, must include at least one delivery and collection five days a week for every citizen, on the need to maintain a well-functioning postal network with a sufficient number of access points in remote or sparsely populated areas, on the includion of working conditions in Member States´ authorisation procedures, and on the imposition of conditions on the supply of postal services for non-economic reasons, such as compliance with employment conditions and social security schemes laid down by law and/or by collective agreements.

With regard to funding, the directive provides that if the Government determines that the universal service obligations entail a net cost, it will draw up a financing plan and notify the Commission. The Commission must provide assistance to the Government on the implementation of this Directive, including on the calculation of any net cost of the universal service, in line with guidelines set out in the directive.

It´s important to realise that had this directive not been approved by the EP two years ago, liberalisation would have occured on 1 January 2009 and without many of the protections inserted by Labour and its allies during the negotiation of this proposal between 2006 and 2007. I was happy that we achieved the best deal we could possibly have got in the circumstances of a conservative-led European Parliament and Council. I believe the directive respects the rights and obligations of postal operators like An Post and all workers operating in the postal services.

This directive must now of course be implemented into Irish law and
followed through at national level by December 2010. If returned to the
European Parliament on 5 June, I will work with Labour TDs and with
Labour councillors to monitor how this is done in Ireland and I will
not hesitate to highlight breaches and problems at European level. The
European Commission must also report back to MEPs on implementation of
the directive at regular intervals and I will take a full part in this

I would also add that Labour´s European manifesto, available at www.derossa.com, commits Labour to include a ´social progress clause´ in every piece of European law, to take social impact assessments into account when developing new laws, and to a full assessment of the process of liberalisation.

Best wishes,

EU defence
Question from

How do you feel about the fact that our tax payers money will be spent on military equipment and hardware? This amount will be dictated to us by the EDA European Defence Agency. When we don´t have enough money for hospitals or education for our children. Your party want a yes vote for lisbon. By voting yes you are voting for the EDA. .. The EDA is a central part of the Lisbon treaty...
Hospitals NOT Helicopters I say.
Please explain you way out of that one!
Reply from
Proinsias De Rossa

Dear ,

Many thanks for your question. Irish tax payers money will be spent on military equipment and hardware on the basis of the policies and decisions of the Irish Government alone and no one else. The suggestion that the European Defence Agency can dictate the amount of defence expenditure has as much validity as the assertion that the Lisbon Treaty provides for conscription.

The EDA was established in 2004 and its mission is to support the Council and the Member States in their efforts to improve the EU’s defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the European Security and Defence Policy. It operates under the authority of the Council of Ministers. Participation in the Agency does not impose any specific obligations or commitments on Ireland other than a contribution to its budget – this year about €350,000 to a total budget of €32 million. Involvement in individual projects of the Agency is a matter for national decision on a case-by-case basis.

The provision in the Lisbon Treaty that Member States should aim to improve their military capability is simply a statement of the need to ensure that the EU, working within the terms of the UN Charter, can meet the demands of crisis management and peacekeeping in today’s world. There is no prescription of how each Member State will live up to this general provision.

The work of the EDA can contribute to the required improvement by achieving efficiency and effectiveness in the equipment field. As General Pat Nash, who commanded the EU peacekeeping mission in Chad has commented, "if Ireland goes outside the EDA and opts out of the situation, certainly the Defence Forces are going to have to pay more for what they need…”

Under the Lisbon Treaty, the EDA would also become accountable to directly-elected MEPs for the first time. I see this as a very positive development.

Best wishes,

Question from

Given that most economies seem to be in a catch 22, in that raising taxes is leaving less money for people to spend, which results in less taxes collected, coupled with rising unemployment increasing social costs and further reducing taxes collected, what is your vision for stimulating employment? The assumptions are the government does not have money to spend on big infrastructure projects, or business incentives and social costs are rising while tax receipts continue to fall. What can be done to change the tide into a positive direction?
Reply from
Proinsias De Rossa

Dear ,

Thank you for your question, which I think raises why we need Europe now more than ever. The Labour Party has been to the forefront in putting jobs at the top of the political agenda in Ireland but what what we need at European level is to work together better and agree a strengthened European economic recovery plan. The Labour Party has and our sister parties in the Party of European Socialists have set out detailed proposals in this regard which are available at www.pes.org . This has been incorporated into our European election manifesto available at www.labour.ie from 13 May.

Best wishes,

Civil rights, data protection and political participation
Question from

What are your policies around the lack of equality and rights for gay people in Ireland?

Specifically, what are your views around gay marriage, partnership rights, adoption, and the discrimination allowed by religious institutions that is enshrined in our Employment Equality Act legislation, and what will you do to address these issues?
Reply from
Proinsias De Rossa

Dear ,

Thank you for your question.

My goal and that of the Labour Party is full equality for gay citizens. The path we have chosen is that of legislation, which gives gay couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage. Labour introduced our own Civil Unions Bill to the Dáil twice since 2007, and twice it has been voted down by the Government. It is likely that a referendum will be needed to provide for full marriage equality between same sex couples and we will support such a referendum. An equal right to marry is not a gay issue - it´s a citizenship issue.

I support the adoption of the draft directive proposed by the European Commission last year tackling discrimination in the provision of services and goods on a number of grounds, including in relation to sexual orientation. Further information on this proposal is available at ec.europa.eu I regret however that the Lisbon Treaty is not in force because if it were, directly-elected MEPS would have a greater decision-making role in the adoption of this measure than we do at present and would be able to insist on higher levels of protection.

I also support the full and correct implementation in Ireland of the existing EU anti-discrimination directives in Ireland. I have repeatedly raised this issue with the Commission - www.derossa.com

Best wishes,

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