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Europe Day sitting of the Dail

A special sitting of the Dáil will be held on 9 May to mark Europe Day. The Taoiseach, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn and Ireland’s MEPs will address Dáil Éireann on the future of Europe and Ireland’s role in the European Union.

The Taoiseach will deliver a statement taking stock of our relations with Europe and reaffirming our commitment to the ideals that underpin the European Union. This will be followed by an address by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn.  MEPs will have the opportunity to speak and members, in turn, will have the opportunity to question MEPs. The sitting will focus on where the European Union should be by 2020 and what Ireland’s role will be in getting there. 

In welcoming the plans for the special sitting, the Minister for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, T.D., said:

“The special sitting of the Dáil on Europe Day marks a statement of intent on the part of the Government and delivers on a commitment contained in the Programme for Government. It re-launches Ireland’s involvement and active participation in Europe and begins a new phase in cooperation between the Government, the Oireachtas and the European Institutions. This event begins a debate about how we can repair relationships with our European partners and how we can engage constructively with them.” 

The process of re-engagement with the EU agenda and of the building up of contacts with EU partners and EU institutions is continuing. Visits by the Tánaiste to London on 9 May and by the Minister for European Affairs to Paris and Berlin later in the week are part of this. 

Background note for editors

To coincide with Europe Day, Minister Creighton will also announce support for twenty projects under the Department’s Communicating Europe Initiative. 

The Tánaiste will visit London on 9 May where, as part of his programme, he will have meetings with Foreign Secretary William Hague, Deputy Prime Minister Clegg and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband.

Minister Creighton visits Paris from 10 to 11 May to meet the French Minister for European Affairs Laurent Wauquiez. She will also brief French journalists working on European affairs. As part of her programme she will open an exhibition at the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris on Charles de Gaulle in Ireland and visit the Notre Europe think- tank. 

Minister Creighton travels to Berlin from 12 to 13 May where she will meet Eckart von Klaeden, Minister of State in the Office of the Chancellor. She will also meet the Bundestag European Affairs Committee and members of the German-Irish Parliamentary Committee. The Minister will have discussions with a number of think-tanks, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the SWP Foundation and the European Council of European Relations, as well as addressing a conference on international relations organised by the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy. While in Berlin, Minister Creighton will visit the Congress of the Youth of the European People’s Party (YEPP).