Minister Dermot Ahern T.D. welcomes National Forum on Europe Report
the sixth report from the Chairman of the National Forum on Europe which was published today.
The Minister said “the National Forum on Europe continues to be to the forefront of Ireland's national debate on the Future of Europe. This report is a valuable contribution to that debate and will feed into our preparations for the June European Council. The Forum's report reminds us of the need for the EU to focus on addressing real economic and political problems. We must not become obsessed with resolving institutional difficulties. Europe must be seen to deliver tangible benefits as it has always done in the past.”
“Last Friday's eurobarometer showed Irish people are among those who most appreciate the benefits the EU has delivered, with 68% believing membership of the Union is a good thing. There are no grounds for complacency, however, and many of the eurobarometer findings underline just how essential the work of the Forum is in fostering proper debate and raising awareness of EU issues.”
“I particularly welcome the work the Forum has done in relation to young people, including the holding of Youth Forums and the schools' competitions. I note how the need for schools and colleges to devote more time to the European Union came across strongly in the Forum's meetings with young people”.
“I wish to acknowledge the high level of commitment of the members of the Forum and in particular to the exceptional work of the Chairman Senator Hayes and his staff.”
“This Report will assist Deputies in preparing for Europe Day in the Dáil this Wednesday. The holding of a Europe Day is an innovative move on the part of the Oireachtas and means that Ireland is giving a lead in promoting greater involvement by National Parliaments in EU affairs. This reflects the fact that EU issues are now an integral part of Irish public life.”
8th May 2006
Note for Editors:
The National Forum on Europe published its sixth report today, covering the period from July 2005 to date. The Forum, which was established after the defeat of the first Irish referendum on the Treaty of Nice in 2001, has a key role in leading the current national debate within the period of reflection. The Forum is made up of representatives of all the political parties represented in the Oireachtas. The Forum also has a Special Observer Pillar composed of civil society, trade unions and NGOs. It meets regularly in public session and has sought submissions from the public. It organises a youth Forum, regional meetings and schools competitions.
Further information is available at www.forumoneurope.ie