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January: Launch of ‘The Global Island’ Review of Irish Foreign Policy

In January 2015, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan T.D., launched a review of Ireland’s foreign policy entitled “The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World”.

The Global Island: Ireland's Foreign Policy Review

The Global Island is the first significant statement of Irish foreign policy strategy in almost twenty years. It is a vision for how Ireland engages with the world and speaks of our values as a State and as a people. The need for an accountable, responsive and interconnected foreign policy has never been more urgent, as we face new global challenges in a rapidly changing world.

In developing The Global Island, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade consulted widely with Government and civil society. Contributors were asked to consider how we can safeguard our peace, security and economic prosperity while promoting reconciliation and cooperation at home and protecting the interests of our citizens.

The launch of The Global Island policy was held during a three-day conference at Dublin Castle that brought our Department’s staff from home and abroad together with Government Ministers, State Agencies and representatives of public bodies, Irish business, and the educational and creative sectors to discuss the challenges it outlines. Recognising that the promotion of Irish values and interests must be at the core of our foreign policy, the Department organised this conference to explore how best all representatives of Team Ireland around the world could deliver on Government priorities and objectives.

The Global Island provides a framework for Ireland’s foreign policy under five key headings:

(i) Our People takes stock of the ongoing work in pursuit of reconciliation and cooperation on the island of Ireland; the provision of support for Irish citizens travelling, living and working abroad; the growing engagement with the Irish diaspora; and the promotion of Irish culture abroad.

(ii) Our Values sets out Ireland's support for a fairer, more just, more secure and more sustainable world through our development programme, human rights policies, peacekeeping, disarmament and security policies and growing engagement with global issues including climate change. It also considers the role of the EU and UN in amplifying Ireland's voice and extending its influence.

(iii) Our Prosperity considers the global economic background to the ongoing efforts in support of recovery, growth and job creation, in particular through trade, tourism, education, investment and the enhancement of Ireland's reputation.

(iv) Our Place in Europe considers the fundamental importance for Ireland of our membership of the EU and how the Government engages across the broad agenda of EU decision-making to safeguard and promote the interests of Ireland and to shape the EU and its global engagement.

(v) Our Influence considers how the Government can best leverage the resources available to secure the maximum benefit for the Irish people from Ireland’s international engagement.

More information on the launch of The Global Island, including a copy of the review itself, can be found at: