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Last Updated: Friday, 16 December 2005, 11:56 GMT
DUP raises 50-50 issue in Europe
DUP raised issue of police recruitment
DUP raised issue of police recruitment
The DUP has taken its campaign against the 50-50 recruiting of Catholics and Protestants in the Police Service of Northern Ireland to the European Union.

The party's MEP, Jim Allister, delivered a dossier on the issue to the EU commissioner with responsibility for equal rights, Vladimir Spidla.

Mr Allister also raised the issue during a debate in the European Parliament on human rights.

He said the "outrageous discrimination" in PSNI recruitment must be ended.

The Patten Report recommended the 50-50 policy as a key element of the Good Friday Agreement.

It means 50% of all new recruits to the PSNI must be from the Catholic community.

Mr Allister said the European Union should not extend a special derogation to the UK exempting it in this instance from a directive on equal treatment in employment and occupation.

Rights

"I want to focus this debate on a flagrant breach of human rights perpetuated within this European Union and specifically within the United Kingdom," Mr Allister told the parliament.

"Hundreds of exceptionally qualified young Protestants have been refused admission to the police, not on merit, but because there is not a matching quantity of applicants from the Catholic community.

"So before this house and the EU parades its human rights credentials, let it set about righting this wrong, implementing the directive banning religious discrimination in employment in its entirety and ending this outrageous discrimination against the majority community in my country."

In March, the government admitted that the PSNI recruitment policy had led to 440 Protestant applicants being discriminated against.

However, the then NIO security minister Ian Pearson said the policy was an exceptional way of addressing what he called an historical imbalance.

He also said the government was on target to achieve 30% Catholic representation in the PSNI by 2011.

In November, the vice-chairman of the Policing Board Denis Bradley, said the policy could not be continued in the longer term.




SEE ALSO:
PSNI 50-50 recruitment 'must end'
12 Nov 05 |  Northern Ireland
Police applicants 'discriminated'
23 Mar 05 |  Northern Ireland
Alliance urges quotas change
14 Nov 03 |  Northern Ireland


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