Visit by Minister for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., to Slovakia and Austria
News14 March 2018
The Minister for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., is today beginning a visit to Slovakia and Austria as part of a programme of Ministerial visits around the world to mark St. Patrick’s Day 2018.
The visit offers Minister McEntee the opportunity to deepen our excellent relations with both Slovakia and Austria. Minister McEntee will hold seven bilateral meetings, attend five events with the Irish community and meet with Irish businesses in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland. The Minister will also participate in two future of Europe Citizens’ Dialogues, attend the greening of the Riesenrad in Vienna and take part in the Vienna Parade on St. Patrick’s Day.
Speaking before her departure, Minister McEntee said that her visit to Bratislava and Vienna reflects the importance of our relationship with Austria and Slovakia.
“The EU is the largest free trade area in the world and allows Ireland to access to a market of 500 million people. Bratislava and Vienna are two important European capitals that Team Ireland is focussed on developing and enhancing our relations with. I hope to build on this increasingly strong connection between Ireland, Slovakia and Austria and am optimistic that we will make visible progress during this visit.”
Minister McEntee’s visit concludes in Vienna, where she will participate in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, including witnessing the Greening of the Riesenrad in Vienna, which is the oldest operating Ferris-Wheel in the world.
“It is a great honour for Ireland to have one of the major tourist attractions in Austria join the Global Greening once again in 2018. The bridges along the Danube in Vienna will also be turning green.”
Trade of goods between Ireland, Slovakia and Austria is expected to have been worth an estimated €750 million in 2017. This underlines the important economic ties that we have with both countries. In 2017 over 70,000 tourists came to Ireland from Austria and Slovakia which is a 50% increase since 2010. There are 10,500 Austrian and Slovakian nationals living in Ireland, along with strong Irish communities in both Austria and Slovakia too.
Minister McEntee’s programme is a collaborative effort from Team Ireland in Slovakia and Austria (which includes Ireland’s Embassies in Bratislava and Vienna as well as teams from Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, and Tourism Ireland in Slovakia and Austria).
Team Ireland supports Irish interests, companies and institutions in Austria and Slovakia across trade, investment, finance, education, food and agriculture, scientific research, tourism, culture, community activities and people-to-people links.
St. Patrick’s Day provides Team Ireland with a unique opportunity to showcase Ireland in Slovakia and Austria.
14 March 2018