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Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee attends GAC in Brussels

 

The Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., is today in Brussels for a meeting of the General Affairs Council and an Article 50 General Affairs Council with the Tánaiste Simon Coveney.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Minister said:

“I am looking forward to engaging with my European colleagues on the Union’s budget (the multi-annual financial framework – MFF) and welcome the opportunity to have a discussion on Jobs, Growth and Competitiveness."

"I strongly support the completion of the Single Market which is inextricably linked to Europe’s competiveness on the world stage. We need to concentrate on investing in our people and companies.  Investment in training will ensure we have the skills and innovation will ensure we can boost productivity and compete in the global economy."

"We will also discuss climate change and migration within the Multianual Finaincal Framwork. These discussions will form the agenda for this week’s European Council meeting. The March European Council will discuss jobs, growth and competiveness and preparations for the EU-China Summit next month.Leaders will also focus on climate change, giving guidance on the overall direction of an EU long-term strategy to be submitted under the Paris Agreement."

"The article 50 GAC will be an opportunity to meet with EU colleagues with the Tanaiste to again thank them for the solidarity and support they have shown during the Brexit process.  We still believe that the best outcome is for the withdrawal agreement to be implemented to allow for a smooth withdrawal of the UK from the EU and for a transition period to be occur and avoid a no deal Brexit on the 29th March."

At the GAC meeting, Ministers will also forward recommendations on the economic policy of the euro area to the European Council for endorsement as part of the annual cycle of economic and budgetary co-ordination known as the European Semester.

 

ENDS

Press Office

18 March 2019

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