Raw audio: McGuinness on Ireland’s new EP constituency boundaries

April 19, 2018

Intro:

On Monday the European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee voted to fix the period for the next European Parliament elections – between 23 and 26 May 2019. Because of British MEPs leaving the parliament after Brexit, Ireland is expected to get two new MEPs - with 13 in the new term up from 11 today.

Mairead McGuinness, a Fine Gale MEP representing the Midlands North-West constituency who is a vice-president of the European Parliament, says that given the two new seats, there will have to be boundary changes and it is essential that the Irish government set these new boundaries as soon as possible.

Outro:

"...post 2019"

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Raw Audio: Harkin on new organic farming regime

April 19, 2018

Intro:

The EU now has its first EU-wide regulations for organic farming products, and they are set to make it easier for Irish farmers to get into the organics business, says independent member of the European Parliament Marian Harkin. Imports, which account for 50% of the organic market in the EU, now must meet the same standards as organic products grown in the EU, putting them on a level playing field with imports.

Right now there are about 1,800 organic farmers in Ireland - about half the average level in the EU. But the new standards will make it wasier and more interesting for Irish farmers to get involved in this area, she says.

Outro:

"...it's a real opportunity"

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Raw Audio: Hayes on Ireland’s place in a two-speed Europe

April 19, 2018

Intro:

French President Emmanuel Macron presided over a debate on the future of Europe at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, taking questions from MEPs about what future EU policy priorities should be. Brian Hayes, a Fine Gael MEP representing Dublin, welcomed Macron's pro-European vision. But he warned that this vision should not be driven only by France and Germany following Brexit, a sentiment echoed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Hayes also said Ireland should be comfortable with Macron's vision of a two-speed Europe, even though it will remain in the slower speed for some areas.

Outro:

"...which is harmful to us"

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Raw Audio: Carthy on EU tax proposals

April 19, 2018

Intro:

Members of the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg this week accused EU member states of blocking a legislative proposal that would ensure corporate tax transparency for multinational companies in Europe.

The public Country-by-Country Reporting Directive has been blocked for over two years by several member states. It would require companies like Starbucks, Monsanto and McDonalds to declare publicly where they make their profit and pay their taxes, and whether they shift their profits to countries with very low tax rates.

The parliament approved the measure last year but it sits stalled in the Council of EU national governments. Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy is demanding to know whether Ireland is one of the countries blocking the measures in the Council. He says Dublin's argument that the legislation is an invasion of the country's tax sovereignty is a red hering.

Seperately, the European Commission last month proposed a special tax on digital companies which would be based on their number of users in Europe and go directly toward the EU budget. But Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy says such own-revenue-raising by the EU would set a dangerous precedent, and if such taxes are to be considered they should be national.

Outro:

"...at an Irish-based level"

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Raw audio: Boylan on EU report finding too much concentration in Irish media

April 19, 2018

Intro:

A legal opinion commissioned in the European Parliament has concluded that Ireland has one of the most concentrated media ownerships in any democracy, a situation compounded by harsh defamation laws. Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan says her party supports the recomendations of the report, including a reform of Ireland's defamation laws. She also wants the Irish government to set up a committee to investigate media ownership in Ireland.

Outro:

"...papers that they owned"

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Raw Audio: Sean Kelly reacts to Macron’s Future of Europe speech

April 19, 2018

Intro:

Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly says he was encouraged by the speech of French President Emmanuel Macron to the European Parliament this week, though he said there wasn't anything particularly new in it. He also defended Macron's decision to join the US and UK in launching missile strikes in Syria, despite protests in Strasbourg from MEPs on the far left and far right.

Outro:

"...something has to be done to stop it"

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Raw Audio: Ni Riada on EU plastic waste strategy

April 19, 2018

Intro:

Raw audio: Sinn Fein MEP Liadh Ni Riada talks about her support for the new EU legislation to reduce platic waste, and what individual consumers in Ireland can do to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging.

Outro:

"...let's stop polluting our environment"

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Harkin applauds Hogan’s proposal on unfair food chain practices, vows to strengthen it

April 19, 2018

Intro:

A proposal unveiled last week by EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan to tackle unfair practices in the European food chain, ensuring farmers aren't cheated out of earnings, has been welcomed by independent Irish MEP Marian Harkin.

Harkin says Hogan should be commended for putting forward the proposal even though there has been strong resistance from retailers. But she adds that the legislation should be strengthened in the European Parliament, in particular by addressing the issue of whether farmers can be 'de-listed' by grocery stores.

Outro:

"...cost if you like, or chain"

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Mobile use by Irish abroad up 200% since EU roaming ban

April 19, 2018

Intro:

The use of Irish mobile phones abroad within the EU shot up by over 200% following the EU ban on roaming charges, compared to the same period last year, new data shows.

The EU legislation, which took effect last summer, forbids mobile operators in the EU to charge their customers roaming charges for voice or data when they are abroad in another EU member state.

Fina Gael MEP Brian Hayes says this is a win for both consumers and the mobie operators, even though these companies fiercely resisted the legislation and sucesfully delayed its implementation for several years. Hayes says the revenue generated from the additional usage far outweighs the connection costs which the industry claimed they could not handle.

Outro:

"...into the future"

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MEPs say Ireland may be blocking tax transparency measures - Carthy

April 19, 2018

Intro:

Members of the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg this week accused EU member states of blocking a legislative proposal that would ensure corporate tax transparency for multinational companies in Europe.

The public Country-by-Country Reporting Directive has been blocked for over two years by several member states. It would require companies like Starbucks, Monsanto and McDonalds to declare publicly where they make their profit and pay their taxes, and whether they shift their profits to countries with very low tax rates.

The parliament approved the measure last year but it sits stalled in the Council of EU national governments. Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy is demanding to know whether Ireland is one of the countries blocking the measures in the Council. He says Dublin's argument that the legislation is an invasion of the country's tax sovereignty is a red hering.

Outro: 

"...within each member state".

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