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Wednesday, May 26, 1999 Published at 08:16 GMT 09:16 UK


Ulster Unionist Party



The Ulster Unionist Party candidate for the European elections is Jim Nicholson MEP.

The Ulster Unionist Party

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) has issued an Agenda for the European Elections, which includes:

Structural funds

  • To press the government to make a priority of improving Northern Ireland's infrastructure through the EU Structural Funds project. "Social and economic regeneration must be another priority."

    Agriculture

  • The need to remove the ban on exporting Northern Ireland beef, and implementation of the date-based export scheme.

  • The development of local schemes through the Northern Ireland Assembly with the introduction of the Early Retirement Scheme for farmers.

    Urban regeneration

  • Administrative overhaul of agencies dealing with development in urban and rural areas, in order to increase effectiveness.

    The Peace and Reconciliation programme

  • In the new Peace and Reconciliation programme for Northern Ireland, worth some 500m euros over five years, there should be an increase in the proportionate representation of elected representatives on Partnership Boards. Levels of funding for areas "which are perceived as unionist" should increase.

    Northern Ireland Assembly and the EU

  • The Northern Ireland Assembly administration should open an office in Brussels, to be staffed by Northern Ireland civil servants.

  • Northern Ireland MEPs should have ex-officio membership of the European Affairs Committee at Stormont. "Northern Ireland must take advantage of the new political situation to build a more professional approach in our dealings with Brussels."

    The euro and the future

  • Jim Nicholson "does not believe in political union [and] was the only Northern Ireland MEP to vote against the introduction of the single currency". The UK government should investigate the impact on the local economy of Northern Ireland having a land frontier with a eurozone member.

    The Environment

  • The Northern Ireland Office should be forced to comply with EU directives designed to combat pollution.



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