Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness, Vice Chairperson of the EPP group, the largest in the European Parliament, and MEP for Offaly has welcomed the clarity provided by today’s publication of the Constituency Commission report on the new European electoral boundaries.
She said she looked forward to once again seeking the support of the people of Offaly in next year’s European elections.
“We now know the constituency boundaries with around 8 months to go until the 2014 European elections in May,” said McGuinness, at the National Ploughing Championships in Co Laois today.
On the changes to the Ireland East constituency which McGuinness has represented for two consecutive terms, she said: “All constituencies have been altered in some way.
My new constituency of Midlands North West will, however, incorporate five counties which I currently represent: Louth, Meath, Kildare, Offaly and Laois. And added to these will be Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon and Sligo together with Longford and Westmeath which I represented in my first term in the European Parliament.
“It’s a very large constituency from a geographical perspective. However I know the entire area extremely well. For me my work will not change since the major issues of policy on which I work are common to every county in Ireland.
“I look forward to once again seeking the support of the people of Offaly and the other 14 counties in next year’s elections to enable me to continue with that work,” she said.
Ms McGuinness stressed the importance of having strong representation at European level. “The last few years have provided several examples of just how relevant EU level politics is to Ireland. From the EU-IMF Bailout to the reformed Common Agricultural Policy agreement, Irish MEPs have been the consistent voices at the negotiating table.
“Thanks to the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament now shares co-decision making powers with the European Council of Ministers, so MEPs have a direct impact on key outcomes such as the EU budget.”
The issues that will dominate next year’s European elections will be the economy, jobs and growth, according to McGuinness.