Thursday 14 Feb 2019
Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment at the endorsement by the European Parliament of an investor court system governing the EU-Singapore trade agreement.
Speaking from Strasbourg after Wednesday’s vote to approve an arbitration scheme to compensate corporations for public decisions that threaten their expected bottom lines on foot of the free trade agreement provisions, Ms. Childers said:
“I am disappointed to see a majority of my colleagues persisting with this model that grants big business an exclusive judicial forum to challenge government policy-making whenever they think decisions taken in the public interest will interfere with their profits.
“The Investor Court System, which the EU executive champions as an important reform to a dispute settlement, actually maintains the all the perverse features of this flawed approach.
“We are willingly taking our own governments hostage to a maximalist doctrine of ‘legitimate expectations’ from the business sector which can and does chill regulation, on pain of extortionately expensive litigation.
“By pushing this model, particularly among developed countries, we are effectively undermining our own legal and judicial institutions, where the same legal standards should apply to all under the same conditions.
“There is a groundswell of frustration and anger against the unequal dividends of globalisation among the general public.
Those who claim to defend it are actually undermining open societies by turning a deaf ear to their legitimate concerns.”
Wednesday 24 Oct 2018
Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment at the lack of support for universal access to water from a majority of conservative MEPs.
Speaking from Strasbourg after yesterday’s vote on the review of the Drinking Water Directive in the European Parliament, Ms. Childers said:
“Everybody agreed that decades-old EU water quality and safety standards had to be brought up to date with scientific knowledge and environmental goals.
“Unfortunately, not everybody in Parliament agrees that vulnerable groups such as the homeless have a right to access to water
“The first successful European Citizens’ Initiative ever called precisely for European action to ensure water remains a public service and a public good.
“About a million people in 21st century Europe lack access to water, with close to ten times more lacking sanitation.
“This review was a wasted opportunity to listen to the voice of our citizens and enshrine universal access to drinking water in European legislation.
“I was part of progressive, cross-party coalition which pushed amendments to strengthen this proposal, and counted on the efforts of many colleagues such as my Dublin counterpart, Lynn Boylan, and the UK’s Rory Palmer.
“It is unconscionable to see cornerstone of those efforts scuppered by the commodifying mentality that, in Ireland, cost us millions in consultant fees that could have gone to works on atrocious leakage rates.”
Friday 31 Aug 2018
I am delighted to announce that I will be hosting a conference with the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP) in Dublin on the 12th October 2018.
This conference will explore the issue of borders & boundaries and how they impact our mental health. The themes of the seminar will include:
- Brexit: how has it impacted on identity and belonging?
- Economic & Social boundaries which ensure the welfare of some and not others
- Sexual boundaries and how they are being exploited
- Social Media and the boundary between reality & fantasy
Who should attend?
Anybody interested in mental health, politics, social justice, sexuality and social media.
What can I expect from it?
Presentations and panel discussions from experts in their fields and a clear understanding of how psychotherapy can and does have an important role in helping society to understand the impact of borders & boundaries on mental health. The event will also provide an opportunity for individuals to network.
9:15 – 9:45 Registration
9:45 – 10:15 Welcome
10:15-11:15 Brexit and Mental Health- Presentations and Panel Q&A
- Nessa Childers, Member of the European Parliament
- Pat Hunt, Vice Chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy
- Barbara Fitzgerald, Psychotherapist and Chair of ICP’s Psychoanalytic Section
11:15 – 11:45 Tea / Coffee
11:45 – 12:45 Economic and Social Boundaries- Presentations and Panel Q&A
- Rory Hearne, Policy Analyst, Writer and Lecturer
- Cllr Gary Gannon, Social Democrat
- Gerry Myers, Psychotherapist and Lecturer
13:45 – 14:45 Sexual Boundaries- Presentations and Panel Q&A
- Julie Browne, Psychotherapist
- Brian Finnegan, Editor of GCN
- Dermod Moore, Psychotherapist and Psychosexual Trainer
14:45 – 15:45 Social Media Boundaries- Presentations and Panel Q&A
- Joanna Fortune, Psychotherapist and Sunday Times Columnist
- Mary McGill, Researcher, Writer and Lecturer
- Anne McCormack, Psychotherapist and Author
15:45 – 16:00 Closing Remarks
You can register through Eventbrite:
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#boundaries, #mentalhealth, #psychotherapy, #BBMH18
The conference is funded by the Group of the Progressive alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
Friday 6 Jul 2018
Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, hailed the vote in the European Parliament to bring a new directive governing online copyright back to the drawing board, a success.
Ms. Childers had tabled amendments in the specific committee, in opposition to provisions known as the ‘link tax’ and the ‘internet filter’, and was one of the members who tabled the request to halt the current procedure and allow the proposal to be further amended.
Speaking from Strasbourg after the positive vote on that request, Ms. Childers said:
“We voted to put this draft law on hold and allow for further scrutiny and amendments rather than green-lighting it in its current form and taking it to the negotiating table with the Council of EU Member States.
“I am relieved to see that a majority of colleagues heeded the call of those of us who see great danger in arts. 11 and 13 for the internet as we know it.
“This piece of legislation has been the object of an extraordinary lobby battle on both sides, and, while I understand the legitimate demand that creators be properly remunerated for their work, this is a wrongheaded expedient.
“Big media conglomerates have been pushing for neighbouring rights of dubious benefit to the journalists who toil for them, at the expense of the ways we share information with each other online.
“Also, we would be effectively compelling online platforms to pre-emptively screen all user uploaded content on pain of being held liable for individuals’ copyrights infringements. Platforms would be forced to police and censor individual uploads and, if in doubt, block them to stay on the right side of the law.
“I have often been a lonely voice among Irish MEPs on matters that affect Big Tech’s bottom line, such as corporate taxation, but there is much more at stake here than the fact that major technology firms see the dangers in this proposal.
“That is why I took the advice of experts such as Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, and countless academics, and took a step to help reverse the course of this law.
“I hope we will now get the chance to turn it around after summer.”
Thursday 19 Apr 2018
Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment in the outcome of the European Parliament’s reaction to the lightning-fast appointment of Martin Selmayr, former head of cabinet to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, as Commission Secretary-General.
Ms. Childers’ remarks came on foot of today’s vote in Parliament of a resolution criticising the manner and timing of his appointment.
Speaking from Strasbourg after the vote in Parliament, this afternoon, Ms. Childers said:
“This appointment bore the hallmarks of a bureaucratic coup, which Messrs. Juncker and Selmayr have proven adept at in the past.
“They have now exceeded themselves and turned it into an art form, with a double promotion, a lightning fast procedure on foot of the sudden retirement announcement from the outgoing top Commission civil servant, and only one competitor for the post, in the form of Mr. Selmayr’s deputy, who withdrew her candidacy after the procedure was well underway.
“Mr. Juncker appears to have press-ganged the whole college of commissioners into accepting him, and then told Parliament that, should it call for Mr. Selmayr’s resignation from his newfound post as top Commission civil servant, Mr. Juncker would resign himself.
“While I fully endorse Parliament’s express criticism of a procedure that was devised to respect the letter of the law in the strictest sense, while running roughshod over any notions of propriety and ethics in public administration, I wish I and like-minded colleagues had mustered a majority to call Mr. Juncker’s bluff.
“This is the kind of Brussels-based maneuvering that cheapens the European project, gives the EU institutions a bad name and provides easy fodder for tabloid headlines that end up with outcomes such as the Brexit vote.
“Naked political appointments of this kind undermine the spirit and legitimacy of the civil service and are a blow to the morale and career prospects of those who do their jobs day in, day out in our institutions without resorting to party political manoeuvring.
“In fairness to Mr. Selmayr, for all the legs up he has been given by Fine Gael’s Christian Democrat EPP group, he is a career civil servant.
“That’s more than can be said for a lot of political appointees that have been parachuted into the higher echelons of our civil service ranks in the European Parliament, on foot of suspiciously tailor-made competitions for people who often transit from political group staffs to the President’s cabinet.
“We need to clean up our act within our own house if we are to enjoy the legitimacy and moral authority that should accompany our role in bringing the Commission to account.
“I fear this is why we didn’t dare to go further as a Parliament on this occasion. As a fellow EPP colleague of Fine Gael’s candidly put it at a previous debate, they don’t want to probe the Commission too much, lest they start looking into our own family affairs over here.”