Strengthening European Democracy and Public Engagement
Our Policies

European Manifesto

Labour parties across Europe continue to be at the forefront of fighting to strengthen
democracy and individual rights.
Social Europe is under threat from right-wing economic policies that have eroded decent pay
and conditions for workers by prioritising corporations over people. As economic inequality
has grown, extreme nationalists and populists have played on public anger and stoked fears,
but they offer no real solutions. Labour’s sister parties in the European Parliament have
always been to the forefront in insisting on strong social and environmental protection
in EU policy, and we have promoted many policies to strengthen workers’ rights and to
raise wages. We also initiated sanctions against Hungary’s extreme nationalist government
led by Fidesz, which has been indulged as a member of the European People’s Party (EPP)
group, of which Fine Gael is a member. Labour’s Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group has
always taken steps against any member parties that cross the line by doing deals with the
far right.
Right-wing economic policies promote commercialised news media over public service
journalism. The EU plays a vital role in shaping Ireland’s future, and it is essential that Irish
people have the opportunity to follow EU political news. Labour wants to increase people’s
awareness of European decisions, and make it clear that the European Union is an arena in
which political battles play out on a daily basis.
The European elections will be a fight between those who believe in people’s democratic
rights, workers’ rights and minority rights – and those who clearly do not. Labour is
determined to ensure that we influence European decisions in a way that benefits the
interests of working people.

  • Now more than ever, we need strong action to promote and reinforce European democracy
  • The European Union needs better means to defend the rule of law and human rights in all member states
  • We will fight racism and xenophobic rhetoric in society as well as in politics, and oppose racist and xenophobic anti-migrant policies
  • Strong EU measures are required to counteract hatred, intolerance and discrimination against others
  • Fake news must be tackled. Labour will demand measures to counteract the manipulation of public debate
  • Labour has always fought to protect whistle-blowers. With our colleagues in the S&D group, we will build on the recently agreed Whistle-blowers Directive
  • We will advocate for Ireland’s tradition of military neutrality and safeguard our opt-outs from EU common defence policies
  • The European Union must support public service broadcasting and journalism. We will promote public access to official documents, freedom of information laws and open access to research findings when the research was publicly funded
  • A better Europe is possible. We can demonstrate this to citizens across Europe
  • We will continue to work closely with the Party of European Socialists, and the Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament, to build public awareness of the real debates and divisions that exist on European policies
  • Labour MEPs will work to promote a progressive vision of the European Union, based on equality, freedom, human rights, protection for workers and high standards of environmental protection
  • Labour will help demonstrate to the public that many perceived barriers to State action in the economy are often not due to EU rules but are the policies of rightwing governments and their tendency to blame “Brussels” for their own unpopular decisions
  • We will always support democracy at all levels of government
  • Labour believes that that decisions should be made as close as possible to the people affected. We fully support the transfer of powers to local, regional and national government where appropriate
  • We will look for greater linkages and two-way exchanges between the European level of government and local government, including enhanced European networks for local representatives and local government management
  • Citizens should be able to participate in the decision-making processes of the EU. We will back proposals to introduce forums for citizen participation with a status similar to the European Committee of the Regions
  • In order to have social policy that works for all of our citizens, it needs to be funded properly
  • uabour MEPs will support progressive plans to grow the EU’s core budget, as long as that money is for the purpose of a Social Europe that will improve living standards throughout Europe and reduce inequalities between people, regions and member countries
  • Strong measures must be put in place to prevent any misuse of EU funds
  • There are many benefits to the EU that are often left unknown because the language can be hard for many to understand. We promise to always be clear and open when discussing the European Union
  • Labour MEPs and representatives will use Plain English when talking about the European Union institutions and decision-making
  • EU rules around consumer protection are very important to Irish people. We will make sure that they are always maintained
  • Ireland has among the least public holidays in the European Union. We think it is time for another to celebrate European solidarity. We back calls for Europe Day on 9 May to become a public holiday in all member states, to celebrate peace and unity in Europe