MEP for Dublin Nessa Childers welcomed today’s adoption, by the European Parliament, of a resolution on the peace process in Northern Ireland, with the endorsement of all major political groups.
Speaking from Brussels after the vote, Ms. Childers emphasised the need for renewed engagement from the governments concerned and support to disadvantaged communities to build on the achievements, and address persistent social problems, of the past decades.
Ms. Childers said: “There are structural aspects to the current juncture in Northern Ireland that remain just as valid today as they were over a year ago, when I was invited to address a conference on the future of the peace process in London.
“There is an undercurrent of sectarianism that periodically erupts into spasms of violence and unrest that make it back to the front pages.
“It is fuelled by the socioeconomic factors of inequality and deprivation that have been hampering the prospects of the same communities, before and after the Good Friday Agreement.
“As I said then, both sovereign governments, and politicians on both sides, need to face up to the reality that this continuing, relentless austerity is putting the limited achievements of the Good Friday Agreement under intolerable strain. The struggle to build peace on the island is inextricably bound up with the campaign against austerity.
“Their involvement, together with the resuming of independent international brokerage, is essential for a much needed rebooting, for a Good Friday Agreement 2.0 that takes stock of the successes and shortcomings of the past 15 years and goes beyond them with a new project for the decades to come.
“The status quo is no longer fit for a future that serves the communities of the island of Ireland.”