Nessa Childers MEP was formally re-admitted today, as an independent member, to the largest progressive force in the European Parliament, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D).
Ms. Childers, who had vowed to re-join the Socialists and Democrats’ group during her campaign, is now back in the 191-strong parliamentary group, the second biggest in the European Parliament, bringing together social-democratic representatives from every EU Member State.
Speaking from Brussels, where the Socialists and Democrats’ group held its constitutive meeting, Ms. Childers said:
“I am delighted to return to the leading progressive family in Europe. We have a record as a very cohesive group that has fought for an alternative to the conservative, austerity-led response to the crisis.
“The hardships imposed on society’s most vulnerable members to rescue a sector brought to ruin by the most privileged led to a political backlash against mainstream political forces.
“We are now facing stronger and more numerous far-right forces across Europe, and UK prime-minister David Cameron’s call for EU reform is a euphemism for further market liberalisation at the expense of public services.
“Challenging the status quo for a more social Europe will be all the more arduous, but I am back at the heart of the European Social Democrats.
“This is the political family whose values and priorities, in my view, best represent the interests of the Irish people.
“We must now get back to our core business of fighting for social justice and quality public services. Renegotiating our legacy bank debt is a fundamental condition to that end, and I will vigorously push for it within my political group and beyond, in the EU arena.”