The EMPL Committee covers an array of employment and social policy, including working conditions, social inclusion and social protection.
I have worked as a Shadow Rapporteur for Vocational Educational Training (VET) and am currently working as a Shadow Rapporteur for Joint Draft Report on Gender Pay Transparency Directive with colleagues in the Women’s Rights & Gender Equality Committee. I am very excited to be appointed Rapporteur for an Own Initiative Report titled ‘Mental Health in the Digital World of Work’.
This committee is responsible for all cultural aspects of the European Union such as the protection of culture and heritage, linguistic diversity, education, audiovisual policy, media policy, youth and sports. Additionally, CULT has spearheaded the ‘Erasmus +’ programme, as well as ‘Creative Europe’ and the ‘Europe Solidarity Corps’ programmes.
As the only Irish member on CULT, I am honoured to represent us in supporting the recovery of the cultural and creative sector in the EU. Among my key objectives is the promotion of access for and participation of disabled and socially marginalised groups, both as creators and audience members.
This committee is in charge of a majority of the legislation and democratic oversight for policies that support citizens in the areas of freedom, security and justice. It fully respects the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the EU territory in conjunction with the European Convention on Human Rights and the strengthening of European citizenship.
I have been working as a Shadow Rapporteur in drafting a report recommending to the Commissioner to identify gender-based violence as a Eurocrime and currently working on Report Combating Gender-Based Violence: Cyber Violence. I was also appointed Shadow Rapporteur for an Own Initiative Report titled ‘The Shrinking Space of Civil Society in Europe’.
I am dedicated to raising the cross-sectional impacts of mental health throughout my policy work. Key to this mission is the call for an EU Year of Good Mental Health to ensure that we are equipped for the oncoming mental health crisis which will follow the pandemic. I sit as Co-Chair of both mental health groups within the Parliament, the Coalition for Mental Health and Wellbeing and the MEP Alliance for Mental Health.
While primary competence for health matters lies with Member States, the EU plays a vital role in improving public health and improving the resilience of public health systems. As 447 million citizens live, work and study in the EU, access to cross-border healthcare and enhanced coordination between Member States can bring considerable benefits.
As an Irish American citizen my work as a member of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the United States of America is very important. This all Party Committee meets and debates on specific areas of common competence between the European Union and the United States of America. The focus is enhancing our personal ties, our interlinked economies, our shared history and our common values.This delegation has been meeting to discuss matters of common interest on a regular basis for the last 45 years! We currently face a wide range of individual and collective challenges, the relationship between us has become more important than ever. We meet representatives of the US Congress twice a year, in both the EU and the US. Our Parliament also hosts politicians, ambassadors, academics and other experts both in Brussels and Strasbourg.
The LGBTI+ Intergroup is the largest intergroup in the European Parliament and one that I am most proud to be a Vice President of. Formed to ensure the rights of LGBTI+ people across Europe, we monitor the work of the European Union by examining the legislative work of the European Parliament to ensure LGBTI+ issues are included in the various reports, amendments and resolutions the Parliament works on. We also examine the everyday situation for LGBTI+ people in EU Member States and beyond. We take an active part in promoting the human rights of LGBTI+ people, reminding each Member States and their authorities of their human rights obligations. In my eyes, we most importantly act as a bridge between civil society groups and European institutions, relaying their concerns with a strong voice at the European level.
The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is created out of a shared desire to bring together elected representatives of Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific States. As a member of this Delegation for the European Parliament, we meet multiple times a year in order to ensure the continuity of the work of the Assembly and to prepare new initiatives, aimed notably at reinforcing and improving cooperation.
We also consider topical political questions and adopt positions on human rights cases, and we recently adopted resolutions on access to energy, food security, technology transfer, the Millennium Development Goals, security in the Sub-Saharan region and one I am particularly interested in and working on, free and independent media.