The Irish charity institute has issued a statement calling for an end to the exclusion of the UK from the European Union, saying that a ‘very, very narrow’ list of charities is ‘inherently problematic’ and that the Irish Government’s decision is ‘not just bad policy’.
In a statement, the Irish Charity Institute said it was not aware of any charities whose membership has been revoked for refusing to work with the EU.
“The list of excluded organisations is fundamentally flawed and in some cases it is clearly designed to prevent charities from working with EU institutions,” the institute said.
“As a result of the exclusion, organisations such as Irish Catholic Charities, the United Way and the World Vision have been prevented from working in EU member states, and their charities have been effectively excluded from the EU budget.”
This is not good policy.
“The statement continued: “In a world where our institutions are often under attack, it is imperative that we not become isolated from the rest of the world, and the UK should not continue to be the only member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to be excluded from this European Commission’s (EC) list of rejected charities.
“It is deeply regrettable that a very, very limited number of charities have lost their membership in the UK because of their unwillingness to work within the EU.”
The European Commission is responsible for ensuring the rights of all citizens to freely travel to, reside and work in other member states.
The Irish charity said it had received no official notice from the UK Government and was “considering its options” with regards to its future membership.
A spokeswoman for the Charity Institute declined to comment on the statement, saying it was a matter for the charity.
Irish charities are currently excluded from membership of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which is aimed at encouraging farmers to use less land and resources in order to boost crop yields.
The EU said the UK’s decision to reject the Irish charities was “unfair” and that it was looking into the matter.
Irish Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald told Sky News that she was “very concerned” by the news.
“I’m very concerned about this,” she said.
“We have been working closely with the European Commission and the EU institutions on the CAP, but we need to make sure we are following the law and the principles of the Common Agricultural Plan.”