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Minister of State Creighton welcomes EU efforts to stimulate economic growth

Speaking at the EU General Affairs Council in Luxembourg today, the Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton T.D., welcomed EU initiatives to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.

In a subsequent bilateral discussion with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on the up-coming European Council (Thursday 23 and Friday 24 June), the Minister of State noted that this week’s Summit will deal with ”the most important challenges facing the EU; challenges we must face – and are facing – collectively”.

The Minister welcomed new levels of economic co-ordination between Member States, in particular through the new European Semester process. She said that this process is “vitally important” and “a major advance in the common governance that needs to accompany a shared currency”.

The Minister reaffirmed the Irish Government’s commitment to the EU-IMF programme to her EU counterparts. Noting that the Commission’s sole recommendation to Ireland in the European Semester process was meet the programme’s targets, the Minister said “the Irish Government will implement the programme in full”.

As part of Europe’s focus on economic recovery, the Minister in particular called for further moves to remove excessive regulation on SMEs, especially micro-entities and to further develop the Single Market.

The Minister congratulated Croatia on the progress that it has made towards membership of the EU.  

The Minister of State also met with the Spanish Minister for European Affairs, Mr Lopez Garrido, on the margins of the Council, as part of the Government’s on-going relationship-building efforts.  The two Ministers discussed the pricing of the Irish loans under the IMF EU Programme and the Spanish Minister was very supportive of a reduction in Ireland's interest rate.