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Minister McEntee attends meeting of the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels

 

The Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., represents Ireland today at a meeting in Brussels of the European Union’s General Affairs Council.

The Minister will engage in a policy debate on the Union’s budget (the multi-annual financial framework – MFF) where she will highlight that the next MFF must meet the vision we have for the future of our Union, balancing traditional priorities, such as CAP, with newer challenges.  The meeting is also another opportunity for Minister McEntee to engage with her colleagues on the current state of play with Brexit.  

The General Affairs Council will also start preparations for next month’s European Council. The March European Council will discuss jobs, growth and competitiveness in preparation for the next EU Strategic Agenda. Leaders will also discuss climate change, providing guidance on the overall direction of an EU long-term strategy to be submitted under the Paris Agreement. 

At the GAC meeting, Ministers will also look at the report by the European Commission on the how EU policy is contributing towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Minister said:

“I’m looking forward to a productive and positive discussion today. We will have a busy agenda, focusing the on the EU funding priorities and some elements of the next Strategic Agenda for the Union. These are both essential issues in helping to address the concerns and expectations of our citizens for the future of Europe.

Today's meeting gives me an opportunity to discuss with my colleagues the latest state of play regarding Brexit.  Solidarity between the EU 27 regarding the Withdrawal Agreement and the Irish Backstop remains total.  The position of the EU 27 has not changed, the withdrawal agreement is not up for re-negotiation."

The Commission will provide Member States with an update on the latest developments regarding the rule of law situation in Poland. Ministers will exchange views on the state of play of the Article 7 procedure concerning Hungary and will discuss the next steps within the Council. 

ENDS

 

Press Office

19 February 2019

 

 

 

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