It is not a problem that Brussels is responsible for the vast majority of legislation passed in Ireland, an MEP for the country has claimed. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)


‘Brussels rules Ireland and that’s OK,’ says Irish MEP


An Irish MEP has claimed it is “not a problem” that Brussels is responsible for the vast majority of legislation passed in the country.

Seán Kelly, a member of the European People’s Party, described the fact that “70 per cent” of legislation affecting Ireland is passed at the European Union level as being “balanced”.

He would rather remain in the European Parliament than take up a seat in the Irish Government, he added.

“Many people don’t realise that 70 per cent of legislation comes from Europe, and that in the [Irish Parliament] they’re often only transposing what’s decided,” he told Radio Kelly, a local radio station in Ireland.

He said that even with a potential ministerial position in the next government on offer, he would rather stay in Brussels.

“I think I probably can contribute better to Kerry and to Ireland by continuing hopefully where I am.”

Speaking to Brussels Signal, Kelly reaffirmed his position on the power held by the EU, and emphasised he had no problem with the current status quo.

“There is no denying that a lot of legislation comes from Europe but, obviously, Member States implement their own laws and also are a fundamental part of making EU laws in the first place,” he said.

“Directives also provide a high degree of flexibility to Member States, therefore I believe there is a balance between national sovereignty and mechanisms for collective action via EU law.”

He clarified that his desire to stay in Brussels was not “due to the influence discrepancy with Ireland’s national parliament” and the EU but it was because he felt he was more valuable in Brussels due to his “many years of work” there.

“If I turned my focus to Dublin, I would essentially have to rebuild a new career,” he said, adding that his party had “plenty of well qualified candidates to choose from” for the next Irish national elections in 2025.