Name: Lynn Boylan
European Constituency: Dublin
Preferred pronouns: She/her
Party: Sinn Féin
Have you held a previous elected position?
Yes, I am a standing MEP for Dublin (Member of European Parliament)
What are your reasons for running?
I want to radically change the EU, to make it work for the people and the planet and to be a progressive platform for international cooperation. For too long, the EU has been an institution that protects profits, increases militarisation, and allows corporate interests to rule. But we can make the EU work – it needs a rights-based framework. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) give us the skeleton of a rights-based society, championing socio-economic rights such as the right to water and right to renewable energy. We need the EU to enshrine and uphold these rights, so that our legislation is socially fair and environmentally sound.
What parliamentary group will you sit with in the EP and why?
I am part of the GUE/NGL group, the left-wing political group. This abbreviation stands for the Confederal Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left. The confederal nature of the group means we respect the diversity of identities and opinions within the group, but unite around fighting for a socially fair, peaceful, and progressive Europe, grounded in international solidarity and environmental protection.
What do you think are the biggest issues facing young people in Ireland and what do you intend to do about them?
For young people looking at their future in Dublin, the cost of living is dispiriting. The EU, with its competences over our monetary policy, has a massive say in this. I stand for rent controls, affordable housing, an end to evictions, decent and enjoyable work, and investment in young people, to ensure that our futures are hopeful.
The climate and ecological crises are colossal challenges we are facing. Young people are leading the fight, because they are the ones most aware of the crisis, but also the ones who will be most affected by it. We have to say NO when it comes to mediocre steps on climate action; nothing short of rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented system changes now will get us on a pathway that is compliant with the Paris Climate Agreement. I am the climate spokesperson for the Left, representing the European Parliament at UN conferences and being the lead negotiator on the Parliament’s climate resolutions. My goal is simple: achieve an emergency response to climate change that meets the science.
What will you do to ensure funding for opportunities for young people (e.g. Erasmus & Youth Employment Initiative) is increased in the next Multi-annual Financial Framework?
The funding available for various schemes under the 2021-2027 Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) has already been allocated. Outrageously, while €13 billion were put aside for a “European Defence Fund”, Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) funding in 2019 was only at €9 billion for the whole EU. In the past, the European Parliament has voted to make YEI funds available earlier, to combat high youth unemployment and urgent needs. The biggest challenge, however, has actually been getting the Irish government to make use of what funds are available.
On the other hand, I welcome that the new Erasmus+ increases support for vocational training, adult education, climate action, as well as for people with fewer opportunities, and people with disabilities and special needs. I will fight to ensure that these funds are protected and extended to meet young people’s needs and to provide better opportunities for young people, and not spent on weapons, fences, or corporate bailouts.
Any other comments?
Throughout my five years as an MEP, I have been very active on human rights, climate change, the environment, women’s rights and social justice. I have effectively used the platform of the European Parliament to bring human rights to the forefront, such as with the resolution that called for Irish teenager Ibrahim Halawa to be released. I proposed this resolution and it was adopted by a huge majority of the Parliament. I was the first MEP to call for and successfully get support from the Parliament for paid domestic violence leave. It has been a privilege to represent Dublin in the EU for the last five years and If re-elected will continue to use my mandate for equality and human rights.