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EU must change to benefit Wales says Plaid MEP

In her speech to Plaid Cymru's conference, the party's MEP is expected to say the European Union needs a shake-up to make it 'more relevant' and 'more democratic.' JIll Evans says she wants to return to Brussels to complete 'unfinished business.'

She's the longest-serving of Wales' current group of four MEPs, having first been elected in 1999. But she faces an uphill struggle for re-election in May with support growing for UKIP.

She's expected to tell delegates,

The European Union is a remarkable achievement. But now is the time for change to make it more relevant, more democratic and more successful.

It has led the way on combatting climate change, but it is losing its nerve at the very time when we need radical and positive action.

As a nation with natural assets and huge potential as a powerhouse for renewable energy, Wales should be working in close partnership with the EU and internationally to develop that potential. We need ambitious targets if we are to tackle this serious problem.

I aim to be back in Parliament after the May election, to continue to work for the Welsh national interest and for EU reforms so that the people of Wales benefit fully from membership. Europe must work for Wales.

Leaving EU is biggest threat to investment say Plaid

Plaid Cymru say the Conservatives' proposals for attracting and retaining more foreign investment in Wales ignore the biggest threat to inward investment. The party says the Euroscepticism of many Tories is a grave danger to jobs at factories owned overseas.

The biggest threat to inward investment in this country is the prospect of Wales being dragged out of the European Union. The Party of Wales is committed to a rebalanced economy that embraces indigenous small and medium-sized enterprises alongside a healthy foreign investment sector.

– Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans

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Plaid Cymru has to take poll seriously says its MEP

Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has said that the latest opinion poll showing a narrow majority of Welsh voters wanting Britain to leave the European Union has to be take seriously.

The poll also found that she could find herself in a close fight with UKIP and Labour to hold her seat in next years European elections. The pictures are from the European Parliament.

Plaid MEP reselected

Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has kept her place at the top of her party's list for next year's European elections. First elected to the European Parliament in 1999, she will stand again after winning a ballot of Plaid members. The party will field a full list of candidates for Wales' four seats.

  • Jill Evans
  • Marc Jones
  • Steven Cornelius
  • Ioan Bellin

Marc Jones is a Wrexham councillor; Steven Cornelius works for the European Free Alliance, the group in the European Parliament that includes Plaid Cymru; Ioan Bellin is a former Westminster and Assembly candidate in Pontypridd.

The European Parliament is not perfect and it does need reform. However it must always be remembered that it gives more back to Wales in funding than it receives from us. Until our economic performance is raised significantly and some parts of the valleys cease to be among the poorest parts of Europe, this will continue to be the case. We now need to ensure that every pound we receive from the European Parliament is put to good use and harnessed to develop our economy. Our poverty is not inevitable and Plaid Cymru also believes that Wales can do so much better than we are at the moment.

– Jill Evans MEP

European elections are increasingly close fights. In 1999, when Wales had five seats Plaid Cymru and Labour each had two MEPs and the Conservatives one. At the last election, in 2009, the Conservatives topped the poll, taking one seat, as did Labour, Plaid Cymru and UKIP.

EU aid cut 'devastating' - Plaid

Following the announcement of the amount of European aid Wales will get, Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans says,

The confirmation that Wales is set to lose £75m of European funding is devastating news for our nation.

While it is a welcome fact that the cut is less than initially feared, we must remember that no cut would have taken place had the Government not been aided and abetted by Labour MPs from Wales.

As a net beneficiary of EU membership, parts of Wales receive structural funds for all-important fields such as agriculture and education - funding which is vital for some of our poorest communities. Some of these are not only the worst off areas in Wales but throughout the whole of Europe.

Areas such as West Wales and the Valleys are new set to miss out on vital EU cash that could have helped strengthen and develop our economy.

Plaid Cymru maintains that Wales' future lies within Europe where support and cooperation between nations can bring mutual social and economic benefits.

– Jill Evans MEP, Plaid Cymru

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