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Minister Byrne welcomes Minister Byrne welcomes appointment of National Citizens’ Representative.

The Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne TD, has welcomed the appointment of Ms Noelle O’Connell as National Citizens’ Representative for the Conference of the Future of Europe.

Ms O Connell’s nomination follows an open call for expressions of interest last month. Ms O Connell will join 26 other Citizens’ Representative from across the EU at the Conference Plenary, the first of which takes place this weekend.

Ms Emmy Coffey Nguyen has been appointed as the Alternate National Citizens’ Representative.

Commenting on the appointments, Minister Byrne said

I am delighted to nominate Noelle O Connell to be Ireland’s National Citizens’ Representative to the Conference on the Future of Europe. The role of the Citizens’ Representative in the Conference will be a key role in ensuring that the voices of citizens from the many Conference events taking place in Ireland are heard at the plenary events.

“Noelle brings a vast wealth of experience from her career to date, including from her role as CEO of European Movement Ireland, which will be of immense benefit in ensuring that the concerns and expectations of ordinary citizens throughout our country are fully reflected in the proceedings of the Conference Plenary.

“I am also pleased to nominate Emmy Coffey Nguyen as our Alternate National Citizen Representative to the Conference Plenary. It is extremely important that we hear the voices of our young people throughout the Conference process and Emmy is someone who I have no doubt will prove an effective Ambassador for our younger citizens in this regard. I look forward to working with both Noelle and Emmy over the course of the Conference process”.



Press Office

16 June 2021


Notes for Editors

  • The Conference on the Future of Europe is a joint initiative of the three EU institutions (Council, Parliament and Commission) involving a year-long series of conferences and consultations aimed at promoting greater citizen engagement in determining the future of the EU.
  • As part of the Government’s plans for the Conference, a range of events will be organised aimed at promoting greater citizen involvement. These events (initially virtual in nature) will provide all citizens with an opportunity to consider the challenges the European Union faces and how they should be addressed.  A number of all-island events will also be organised to ensure that the views of EU citizens living outside the immediate borders of our Union, including the hundreds of thousands living in Northern Ireland, are heard. A number of other events with the Irish diaspora and our younger citizens will also be organised over the course of the next year.
  • As well as the series of meetings and events for the Conference in Ireland, an EU-wide Multilingual Digital Platform has also been launched as part of the Conference.  This portal is available in all 24 official languages of the EU, including Irish and English, and all EU citizens, including those living in Northern Ireland, are invited to visit the platform. The platform can be accessed at Conference on the Future of Europe ( The platform allows citizens from across the EU to engage directly and have their say on the topics that they consider important for the future of the EU. 
  • As part of the Conference Plenary which brings together representatives from the Member States, national parliaments, European Parliament, European Commission, other EU representative bodies and social partners, and ordinary citizens randomly selected, each Member State was asked to nominate a National Citizens’ Representative to sit as part of the Conference Plenary.

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