Marian Harkin

  • Marian Harkin was elected to Dáil Éireann as an independent Teachta Dála (TD) for the Sligo–Leitrim constituency at the 2002 general election, receiving the highest number of first preference votes in the constituency. In June 2004 she was elected to the European Parliament in the North-West Constituency, she is currently a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the delegation for relations with the United States.
    Marian is an Independent MEP representing the 15 counties of the Midlands-North-West constituency in the European Parliament– Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Galway, Mayo, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, Louth, Laois and Offaly. She is now in her third European term following the 2014 European Election in May and previously represented Sligo/Leitrim as a TD in Dáil Éireann.

    Marian is a full member and ALDE Coordinator of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, a substitute member on the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and a substitute member on the Petitions Committee.

    Her legislative work has included the EU Globalisation Fund where she was Parliament chief negotiator. This fund has been set up to assist redundant workers to access education and training or to start their own business. She was the main instigator of the application for Irish construction workers, a fund in excess of €30 million and is currently working on the feasibility of further applications.

    Other recent dossiers she has actively worked on include the Social Fund, Food Aid for the Deprived and the assessment of the Troika from an employment and social perspective, employment and social aspects of the EU2020 strategy and the European Semester.

    In her last term in the European Parliament as a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee Marian actively worked on the Common Agriculture Policy and the Rural Development Programme where she supported a more equitable share out of the Single Farm Payment to help ensure the continuation of productive family farms and is strongly supportive of maintaining the current LEADER model of community led local development. Although no longer a member of this Committee, Marian will continue to actively follow its work and agriculture issues that are important for Irish farmers.

    In her work on the Petitions Committee, Marian has facilitated many petitioners in having their voices heard and their cases examined at European level. Part of her work involves connecting ordinary citizens to the EU Institutions to try to resolve issues where there is non-compliance with EU legislation and she has achieved a number of successes in this area.

    As well as her legislative work Marian has a deep interest in Social and Public Health issues. She is Chair and founding member of both the Carers Interest Group and the Volunteering Interest Group and is also Vice Chair of the Cervical Cancer Group, Mental Health Group, Epilepsy Support Group, Human Dignity Working Group and Complementary and Alternative Medicine Group. She is a member of the MEP Heart Group, LGBTI Intergroup and MEPs against Cancer Group, the Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and the Social Economy Intergroup.

    As Vice President of the Disability Intergroup Marian is spearheading an initiative to have an EU Commissioner for Disability and has actively worked on accessible public websites, the European Disability Card and using the Parliament as a vehicle to pressurise Member States to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability.

    Other areas where Marian remains active include her support for Credit Unions, her support of independent living for persons with disabilities and for adequate services for children with special needs. Marian visits schools on a very regular basis to debate and explain her work and makes every effort to link in with and support community endeavours.

    In 2011 in the MEP of the Year Awards Marian won the “Outstanding Achievement Award’ in recognition of her work in promoting the interests of volunteers and volunteering in the European Union. In 2012, she won the MEP of the Year award for her work in the area of Employment & Social Affairs.