Minister Byrne launches Irish programme of events as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe
Press release13 May 2021
The Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, T.D., launches the Irish programme of events for the Conference on the Future of Europe in Ireland at a special online event broadcast on May 14th from Iveagh House, Dublin.
Minister Byrne said “The Conference on the Future of Europe will be the voice of the people setting out our vision of Europe for the next generation. I am delighted to launch a diverse programme of events as part of the Irish contribution to the Conference. This is an exciting and valuable opportunity for citizens from all over Ireland and indeed Europe to make their voices heard about the future direction of our Union.
“As the Minister responsible for the conduct of the Conference in Ireland, I am determined that our approach will be an inclusive and open one, building on the strong track record we already have in citizen engagement. We want to hear as many voices as possible, from all sectors of our society, even from those whose perspectives may be critical or challenging. I am therefore issuing a call to all of us, Irish citizens, and indeed all EU citizens, that we make full use of the opportunity which the Conference presents to help define our future.”
13 May 2021
Notes to Editors
- The Conference on the Future of Europe is a joint initiative of the three EU institutions (Council, Parliament and Commission) involving a year-long series of conferences and consultations aimed at promoting greater citizen engagement in determining the future of the EU. The Conference was formally launched on 9 May (Europe Day) at a ceremony attended by the Presidents of the three institutions and hosted by President Macron of France. Member States are expected to organise a national programme of events under the umbrella of the Conference aimed at promoting greater debate and discussion among citizens on the Future of Europe.
- Today’s launch event, organised in collaboration with European Movement Ireland, included contributions from Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney T.D., European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness and EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly. Reflecting the importance placed on youth participation as part of the Conference, three young people from across the island of Ireland also shared their views on Europe and their hopes for the EU.
- As part of the Government’s plans for the Conference, a range of events will be organised aimed at promoting greater citizen involvement. These events (initially virtual in nature) will provide all citizens with an opportunity to consider the challenges the European Union faces and how they should be addressed. A number of all-island events will also be organised to ensure that the views of EU citizens living outside the immediate borders of our Union, including the hundreds of thousands living in Northern Ireland, are heard. A number of other events with the Irish diaspora and our younger citizens will also be organised over the course of the next year.
- As well as the series of meetings and events for the Conference in Ireland, an EU-wide Multilingual Digital Platform has also been launched as part of the Conference. This portal is available in all 24 official languages of the EU, including Irish and English, and all EU citizens, including those living in Northern Ireland, are invited to visit the platform. The platform can be accessed at Conference on the Future of Europe (https://futureu.europa.eu/). The platform allows citizens from across the EU to engage directly and have their say on the topics that they consider important for the future of the EU.