Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson says republicans have begun practical planning for Irish reunification and encouraged others to do the same.
Ms Anderson made the comment following a conference on reunification in the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday.
The event heard from MEPs and academics from Germany and Cyprus who shared their experiences of reunification and partition and examined the lessons that could be learned for Ireland.
The European Parliament hearing, which was attended by more than 100 people, also included a panel discussion chaired by Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy with contributions from academic Gerard McCann, economist Michael Burke, and Ruth Tallion from the Centre for Cross Border Studies. The panellists discussed the challenges and processes and the case for Irish unity.
Addressing the conference, Ms Anderson called on the Irish Government to start preparing for reunification by publishing a green paper on unity.
“We need to start a serious debate on reunification. As republicans we are actively planning and preparing for reunification and others need to be doing the same,” she said.
“I want to see a serious debate starting on this subject in order to fully prepare and it is something everyone needs to take part in. including those who support us and those who have different views.
“We are calling on the Irish Government to publish a green paper on reunification to kick start a serious and wide ranging political and social debate on this very important issue,” she said.
See Friday’s ‘Journal’ for full coverage of the conference.