Tánaiste and Minister of State for European Affairs host National Citizen's Dialogue
Press release09 May 2018
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., and Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., are co-hosting a National Citizens’ Dialogue on the Future of Europe today.
The event in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham is the culmination of a series of public and sectoral engagements which have taken place across the country since the Government launched its Future of Europe initiative last November.
Speaking before the event, the Tánaiste said:
“Ireland has been transformed by our membership of the European Union and our citizens are consistently among the most supportive of engagement at EU level. But we cannot take that for granted. Europe has never stood still and a key priority for Ireland is to influence and shape the future of Europe in a way that meets the needs and ambitions of our citizens. Today is not about predicting the future. It is about much more than that. It is about making the right decisions now and building a better future.”
Minister of State McEntee also said:
“Since November, we have travelled the country listening to the views of our citizens on the Europe they want. These discussions have been marked by a very high level engagement, and a real focus on the future. Today we are asking people to draw together the many strands in the debate. The day will feature wide-ranging discussions with key interlocutors on the core issues which have been highlighted as part of the consultation process, including youth, education, jobs, innovation, competitiveness and sustainable growth.”
9 May 2018
Note for Editors
• Following the publication of a White Paper on the Future of Europe by the European Commission in March 2017 and the publication in October of a ‘Leaders’ Agenda’ by the President of the European Council, a debate across the Member States on the future of the European Union is now underway. The process is expected to be completed before the European Parliament elections in 2019 and Ireland’s citizens’ dialogue will help inform Ireland’s contribution to the wider European debate.
• A website – www.dfa.ie/eu - and a twitter hashtag - #futureofeurope – have been set up to facilitate the process. The website gives access to key documents and other resources.
• Video outlining the process is available to view at https://www.dfa.ie/our-role-policies/ireland-in-the-eu/future-of-europe/about/