A debate is now underway across Europe on how best to address the challenges of a rapidly changing world. Influencing the future direction of Europe should always be a priority for Ireland and this is all the more important for us after Brexit.
Our starting point in this debate is to focus on the needs and concerns of our citizens.
Since we launched the Citizens' Dialogue initiative in November, we have travelled the country listening to you, to your ideas and your priorities for the future of Europe. In Galway, Cork, Donegal, Kildare, Meath and Dublin we have had lively conversations about the economy, security, social responsibility and globalisation.
We will use these and other events as well as contributions received on line to facilitate your input into the wider European debate. A report on the dialogues will be published in September and will feed into a new national statement on Ireland in Europe. This will be Ireland's unique contribution to the wider European debate and to the Leaders' Agenda discussion at the EU Summit in Romania next May.
On this site, you can find information on the Citizens' Dialogues and the wider Future of Europe debate. You can access previous speeches on the Future of Europe by the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., as well as the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., and Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., who are leading this process of public engagement.
The site includes links to key documents from the European Commission, including the White Paper on the Future of Europe published in March 2017 and the Commission's EU wide public consultation on the future of Europe. For a flavour of discussions in other EU countries, please see a selection of recent speeches by EU leaders.
The Oireachtas Joint Committee on European Union Affairs launched a consultation process on the future of Europe. A Report of the Committee is planned to be published before the end of the year. For more information, please see https://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/oireachtasbusiness/committees_list/eu-affairs/submissions/.