The only voice that spoke to me was the European one

Author: Jane Morrice, Independent, Northern Ireland


Of all the voices I heard growing up in Belfast during the ‘troubles’, the only one which truly spoke to me was the European voice.

It spoke of mutual respect, understanding, equality and tolerance.

As the greatest peace project in modern history, the EU has used its influence throughout the years to protect the Northern Ireland peace process, through the unique PEACE Programme, which continues to this day.

After witnessing terrible scenes in Belfast as a BBC reporter, it was my involvement later, as Head of the EC Office, setting up the first EU PEACE Programme which brought me into contact with grass-roots peace-builders.

That became a life-long ambition, vocation which, as a founding member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, led to my election to the new NI Assembly set up after the Good Friday Agreement.

My experience, as Deputy Speaker of the NI Assembly, brought me into contact with all sides of the political divide and taught me the vital need to understand and respect difference.

It is that conviction which now takes me on a path to the European Parliament elections where I stand as an unapologetic supporter of the EU in Northern Ireland and campaigner for a People’s Vote with an option for the UK to Remain.

We should have as much pride in our EU citizenship as we do being ‘British or Irish or both’ - a privilege granted to Northern Ireland citizens by the Good Friday Agreement. Through their long-standing defence of citizens rights, the New Europeans have helped show the way.


Jane Morrice, Independent, Northern Ireland

About the Author

Jane Morrice, Independent, Northern Ireland

Jane is former Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, former Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland and former reporter for BBC Belfast.

She was Vice President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) from 2013-2015 and also served two terms as Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission.

Jane was a prominent member of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition until it ceased to exist in 2006.

She was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998 and was appointed Deputy Speaker in February 2000.

She has represented NI interests as an EESC Member in Brussels since 2006 and, after many decades as a Member of the European Movement Northern Ireland, she was nominated Hon. President.

View all articles
Jane Morrice, Independent, Northern Ireland

About the Author

Jane Morrice, Independent, Northern Ireland

Jane is former Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, former Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland and former reporter for BBC Belfast.

She was Vice President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) from 2013-2015 and also served two terms as Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission.

Jane was a prominent member of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition until it ceased to exist in 2006.

She was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998 and was appointed Deputy Speaker in February 2000.

She has represented NI interests as an EESC Member in Brussels since 2006 and, after many decades as a Member of the European Movement Northern Ireland, she was nominated Hon. President.

View all articles
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