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Relations between Ireland and France further strengthened

Relations between Ireland and France further strengthened

Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe TD, meets his French counterpart, Thierry Repentin, for discussions on youth unemployment, climate change and Ukraine. They visited the Eurocampus in Clonskeagh with Senator Jillian vanTurnhout to sign a Blue Star agreement during the visit.

Early in March, the Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe TD, hosted his French counterpart, Minister Thierry Repentin, in Dublin. This followed on from a brief visit by Minister Donohoe to Paris in October.

The visit allowed for discussions to take place on the upcoming March European Council meeting, banking union, climate change, youth unemployment, the relationship between the EU and the UK and, most notably, the escalating situation in Ukraine.

The visit began with both ministers paying a visit to the Eurocampus in Clonskeagh where they met the Franco-Irish soccer team who will travel to Brazil in June to represent Ireland at the 2014 World Cup of French Schools. The school took the opportunity, while the Ministers were present, to join the 120 schools and 5,500 pupils who are already engaged in the Blue Star programme and to sign an agreement with European Movement Ireland. The aim of the programme is to promote an understanding of what it means to be a member of the European Union and to celebrate the diversity that comes with it.

Many of the children at the school, most of whom have dual citizenship with other countries, spoke with Ministers Donohoe and Repentin about what Europe means to them and how proud they are to represent Ireland in Brazil in June.

Relations between France and Ireland have traditionally been very close. Minister Repentin’s visit only served to further strengthen this.