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Election Review: Lo achieves best ever European election result
Alliance News
April-June 2014

Anna Lo Alliance Party conference 2011. Picture by Bernie BrownAnna Lo achieved the best ever result in Europe in the party’s history, securing 7.1% of the overall vote.

Running on a pro-European agenda — with community relations and environmental issues featuring highly on her radar — voters identified with Anna’s vision of how Northern Ireland could benefit from Europe.

She said: “I aimed high to achieve the best possible result for the party and am delighted to have achieved this.

“The campaign took me to all corners of Northern Ireland and let me meet some really interesting people — people who would only benefit further from at least one pro-European MEP. Sadly the same three MEPs will return to Europe, but not without knowing the pro-Europe vote has risen.

“I also want to thank all the volunteers who canvassed with me and for me — you helped achieve this fantastic result.

“Alliance has proven it can deliver change both in Northern Ireland, through our MLA and Council teams, and at Westminster, through Naomi Long MP. We are on the move in Europe and I hope to see this vote continue to rise until Alliance is representing everyone at a European level.”

Alliance Spokesperson on Europe, Alderman Sean Neeson, has welcomed the Secretary of State’s visit to the European Parliament, and urged his colleagues in Liberal Parties across Europe to respond positively to Mo Mowlam’s statement in the European Parliament this afternoon.

Alderman Neeson said:

“The Secretary of State is to be commended for this initiative. Anyone with any influence on those in the European Parliament must seek to ensure that Northern Ireland is not forgotten in the years ahead.

“There will be many dividends if we establish a peaceful future – but our social and economic problems will not disappear overnight.

“I have asked the Alliance Party’s colleagues in the Liberal Group in the Parliament to do all they can to keep Northern Ireland near the top of the European Union’s funding agenda.”

Alliance Party Chief Whip, Alderman Sean Neeson, at the weekend addressed an International Conference in the Romanian capital of Bucharest about the political talks in Northern Ireland. Mr Neeson says, “The Conference was about the enlargement of the European Union and provided an opportunity to brief senior politicians from all over Europe about the importance of reaching a political agreement, especially in relationship to Northern Ireland’s membership of the EU.

“The Conference was successful in that it clarified the problems which will be faced with the enlargement of the EU and clearly serious consideration must be given before applications to join the EU are granted to countries within the former Eastern bloc. Romania is still a country in transition, and major changes have taken place since the abuses of the Ceaucescu family.”

Alliance Party Spokesman on European Affairs, Alderman Sean Neeson, claims that Northern Irelands MEP’s should not also be Westminster MP’s in view of the fact that they have the worst attendance records of any other country in the European Parliament.

Mr Neeson said:

“The European Union is having a much greater influence on our everyday life and it is vital that Northern Ireland has representatives who are totally dedicated to putting forward our case on a daily basis whether in the Parliament or its corridors. This ambivalent attitude to the Parliament is not in the best interests of Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom as a whole.”