Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP has said a Green Party statement issued yesterday claiming he and his Fianna Fail colleagues voted to cut the European Union Solitary Fund by 50% is “grossly misleading.”
Green Party candidate for Midlands – North West, Mark Dearey, attacked the Donegal MEP after he called on the Irish Government to apply for storm funding.
The Green party politician said Mr Gallagher and his colleagues in Fianna Fail all voted to cut the EUSF by 50%, despite knowing that as a peripheral Atlantic country, Ireland is highly vulnerable to a changing climate and could require funding from this source.
Pat the Cope hit back “My understanding is that the Green Party is referring to the general budget of the EU for this year 2014. I can confirm that I voted in favour along with 11 out of 12 Irish MEPs.
“The budget allocates €532 million to the EU Solidarity Fund for 2014. The Irish Government can apply for this funding, and I strongly urge them to do so before Friday’s deadline.
“In fact on the same day, the European Parliament voted to allocate EU Solidarity Funding to Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Romania for flooding, drought and forest fires.
“This further highlights the mistake the Government is making by not applying for EU Solidarity Funding. Funding is available, if an appropriate regional based application is submitted.
“EU Member States agreed to reduce the total budget for the EU Solidarity Fund to €500 million per year as part of an overall deal on the EU budget for the period 2014 to 2020, known as the Multi annual Financial Framework. The Parliament subsequently endorsed the MFF agreement negotiated by the Irish Presidency in mid-2013.
“Are the Greens really suggesting that I should have voted against the MFF thus preventing vital funding to Ireland through the Common Agricultural Policy, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Peace programme, youth unemployment, Horizon 2020 and support for the Border, Midland and Western region to name but a few?
“If the Greens had any real interest in the people impacted by the storms they would also call on the Government to apply instead of trying to score cheap political points against me ahead of the European Elections.”Tags: