Championing equality and communities
Frances stands for a European Union that supports inclusive growth, innovation, research and increased opportunities for our citizens. One that works towards the goal all of us have, which is for our children to have a more secure economic future in a socially progressive society.
As Dublin’s MEP, Frances will:
Back proposals to better ensure that women and men receive equal pay for equal work by reducing the gender pay gap and the gender pension gap and further advance equal opportunities for women in economic and social life.
Promote EU’s new measures on work-life balance for parents and carers.
The EU has just agreed ambitious new measures which address the long absence of women from the labour market. Frances will ensure that these measures are implemented properly and progressed in Ireland. The rules will boost the take-up of family-related leave by men and will give carers special annual leave entitlement. It would also extend the right to request flexible working arrangements for parents, until the child is at least eight-years-old, as well as for carers.
Work with the EPP to create an action plan for affordable housing in the EU.
Frances will call for the creation of a European Investment Platform dedicated to affordable housing within the framework of the InvestEU strategic investment plan and the mobilisation of the European Investment Bank.
Commit to making medicines more accessible.
There is a shortage of affordable and essential medicines. This pressing issue is currently threatening patient safety and severely limits the ability of physicians to provide effective treatment, particularly among cancer patients. Pooling the buying power of the EU’s 450 million people could save billions for taxpayers, freeing up funding to ensure that modern medicines are available to patients at the same time in every country.
Protect and expand DiscoverEU.
A European Union initiative giving young people the opportunity to travel around Europe on free travel passes. 100,480 young citizens applied during the first application round in 2018 but only 15,000 were awarded passes. Frances will work to expand the programme beyond 2019 and ensure that an ‘inclusion and diversity’ strategy meets the needs of applicants.
Prioritise mental health.
Frances will aim to deliver an EU budget which invests in public awareness of positive mental health, mental health problems and de-stigmatisation. Frances will call for the creation of an EU reward system for companies taking active steps to ensure a healthy environment for mental wellbeing at the workplace.
Improve access to meaningful training and employment for people with disabilities.
Despite an increasing emphasis on the importance of diversity in the workforce, people with disabilities continue to be under represented. Frances will promote the work of the Disability Intergroup in the European Parliament to ensure MEPs focus on improving the lives of people with disabilities during the next legislature.
Expand Erasmus+ Masters loan scheme for Dublin students.
Frances wants more Irish students to avail of studying abroad and Irish banks to offer financial support. EU students planning a full Master’s degree abroad can benefit from a loan guarantee scheme run by the European Investment Fund at preferential rates but this is hindered by no Irish financial institutions taking part. Frances will work together with the EIF and Irish banks to facilitate Ireland’s participation.
Support inclusive solutions to Europe’s migration challenge.
The EU must demonstrate united support for safe and orderly migration, while promoting the protection of human rights. Frances will reinforce efforts for a comprehensive approach to migration, based on a systematic, transparent and fair system.
Maximise the opportunities of the ‘silver economy.’
As part of the EPP grouping, Frances will support innovation and investment to develop the silver economy and promote active ageing – targeting key areas such as Functional Foods, Connected Health, Assisted Living, Adaptable Housing and Leisure Tourism.
Work towards a more meaningful and multi-faceted EU-Africa partnership.
Frances will seek to establish a new political structure to facilitate much closer political cooperation and two-way investment between Africa and the EU, reflecting the breadth of challenges and opportunities - such as rapid population growth – we will face over the coming decades.