The Big Debate – Wind Energy
 
Marian passes the mike to Andrew Duncan, Lakelands Wind Farm Info Group and Midlands Alliance
Marian passes the mike to Andrew Duncan, Lakelands Wind Farm Info Group and Midlands Alliance

The subject of wind energy and the siting of industrial turbines has continued to rage on since my last newsletter article on the topic. Since then I have continued to work on the issue, meeting with individuals and community groups in Mayo, Kildare, Westmeath, Offaly, Meath, Donegal, Laois and Roscommon all of whom are concerned about the mammoth wind farm developments planned for several parts of the country.

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Commission Must Consider EU Level Strategy for Carers In Future Legislation
 
Representatives of the Laois/Offaly Carers Association are pictured on the occasion (L-R): Kieran Conway, Ann Hughes, Marian, Padraig McGrath and Jean Conway
Representatives of the Laois/Offaly Carers Association are pictured on the occasion (L-R): Kieran Conway, Ann Hughes, Marian, Padraig McGrath and Jean Conway
In my role as Co-Chair and founder of the European Parliament Interest Group on Carers, I hosted the most recent meeting of the Interest Group on Carers on October 15th to explore the potential of an EU-level Carers Strategy.
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“Halfway Towards Equality”
Gender Equality Index Launched in the European Parliament with Interesting Results for Irish Women
 
Marian with members of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) following the Launch of the Gender Equality Index.
Marian with members of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) following the Launch of the Gender Equality Index.
The Gender Equality Index Report, which I launched in the European Parliament on October 16th, was the result of research carried out and compiled by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). The Gender Equality Index measures gender equality in 6 key areas – Work, Money, Knowledge, Time, Power and Health and is a unique measure of all six areas in each European Member State.

With an average score of 54% the European Union is only halfway towards a gender equal society. Ireland’s average score was just above the EU average at 55.2%.
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A Brief Information Note on the New EU Constituency
 
The new Midlands-North-West constituency
The new Midlands-North-West constituency
As this is my first newsletter of 2014 I wanted to write briefly about the European election to be held in late May and the implications of the new, larger constituencies recently announced. I believe that with the creation of the new 15 county Midlands-North-West constituency by the European Parliament Constituencies Committee the nature of European elections into the future will be markedly different.
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National Organic Farming Conference Tullamore
 
Marian pictured at the event with Frank Macken, Organic Division, Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine and John Brennan, Leitrim Organic Farmers Co-op.
Marian pictured at the event with Frank Macken, Organic Division, Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine and John Brennan, Leitrim Organic Farmers Co-op.

I opened the National Organic Conference in Tullamore on Wednesday, November 6th. This event attended by organic farmers from all over Ireland was a showcase for all that is positive about organic farming.

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€112,058.69 Refunded to Irish Consumers
 
Launch of the European Consumer Centre Annual Report 2013
Launch of the European Consumer Centre Annual Report 2013

Last August I was delighted to launch the Annual Report of the European Consumer Centre in Ireland in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo, which outlined that 3,326 consumers contacted the office in 2012 and 60% of those enquiries were successfully resolved with a total of €112,058.69 being refunded to the complainants.

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Teacher Conference in Galway
 
Marian with ACT committee members Patricia Dennehy & Catherine Byrne
Marian with ACT committee members Patricia Dennehy & Catherine Byrne
As a former teacher I was delighted to be invited by the Association of Civic, Social and Political Education Teachers to give the keynote address at their national conference in Galway on the topic ‘Active Citizenship – Local, National and Global’.
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Going Back To My Roots - School Visits
 
Marian with St. Michael’s sixth class, Mervue
Marian with St. Michael’s sixth class, Mervue
I am often invited to visit National and Secondary schools to address students about my work as an MEP and to explain how the EU ‘works’.
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Out and About in the Constituency!
Some highlights of recent events from around the North-West constituency
 
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Stand On Your Soapbox!
 
Regional winners Dolores Brady from Westport and Macdara Tinney from Rosses Point with Marian.
Regional winners Dolores Brady from Westport and Macdara Tinney from Rosses Point with Marian.
As an MEP I am often asked to contribute to various competitions and initiatives that touch on the European project and one of my favourites is the National Europe Direct Soapbox Competition.
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In this issue
Full Width Section One
The Big Debate – Wind Energy
Commission Must Consider EU Level Strategy for Carers In Future Legislation
Full Width Section Two
“Halfway Towards Equality”
A Brief Information Note on the New EU Constituency
Two column Section One
National Organic Farming Conference Tullamore
€112,058.69 Refunded to Irish Consumers
Two Column Section Two
Teacher Conference in Galway
Going Back To My Roots - School Visits
Two Column Section Three
Out and About in the Constituency!
Stand On Your Soapbox!
marian.harkin@ep.europa.eu
+32.22.84.77.97
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