About Us

European Movement Ireland is an independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organisation working to develop the connection between Ireland and Europe.

Here at EM Ireland, we facilitate links between all sectors of Irish society and the EU by running a number of advocacy campaigns, education programmes, training courses, information briefings and networking events. We also produce clear and relevant reports and publications outlining key European issues and their impact on Ireland. From providing our corporate members with information and assistance on European funding channels and consultations, to offering our third-level members advice and guidance on career opportunities in the EU, we work to ensure transparency and engagement at all levels in Ireland’s relationship with Europe.

We work to ensure that European issues are discussed in Ireland in a reasoned, robust and fair manner. We aim to increase awareness and understanding of the issues affecting Irish citizens by providing factual information to individuals, public representatives, business and the media. Our goal is to provide an unbiased, independent voice on all elements of Ireland’s membership of, and relationship with, the EU.

At EM Ireland, we understand that in order to increase Irish engagement in Europe, Irish citizens must feel like they have the power to effect change. Communication between EU Institutions and EU citizens must be based on two-way dialogue and not simply top-down information provision. For this reason, at EM Ireland we use our unique position as a non-governmental organisation within the pan-European, European Movement International network to ensure that the concerns and opinions of our members are inputted at all levels of the EU system.

Fostering Irish engagement and participation in Europe is at the centre of EM Ireland’s goals. We work to ensure that, as Irish citizens and Europeans, we each take responsibility for the role we play in EU matters and for how we as a people, and as a country, engage with Europe.


“EM Ireland can be proud of its contribution to the relationship between Ireland and the EU.  For nearly sixty years, European Movement Ireland has made the case for Europe and today continues its work of providing information, raising awareness and stimulating public debate about the European Union.  Its founders […] were true pioneers of Ireland’s future in Europe.  Many other distinguished figures have taken the vision forward since then. ” 

– Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, 30 May 2013

Founded in 1954, European Movement Ireland is the oldest Irish organisation dealing with the EU, pre-dating Ireland’s membership of the Union in 1973 by almost twenty years.

Originally founded as the Irish Council of the European Movement in Dublin on 11 January 1954, the original objective of the organisation was to advocate for Irish membership of the European Economic Community (EEC), as the EU was then known. This aim was achieved when Ireland formally joined the EEC in 1973.

Signing the Articles of Association that founded the Irish Council of the European Movement were seven pioneers of Ireland’s future in Europe: Denis Corboy, George J Colley, Declan Costello, Dr Garret Fitzgerald, Seán J Healy, Donal O’Sullivan, and Louis P F Smith.

Throughout the course of its history, this organisation has enjoyed the support and contributions of many of the country’s great political, legal and economic figures such as former Taoisigh Garret Fitzgerald and Jack Lynch, and former President Mary Robinson, amongst others.



In the half century since our founding, EM Ireland has remained true to its original founding principles to “keep the Irish public informed about current European affairs and to encourage an informed and constructive contribution from Irish society towards the development of Europe and, through it, Europe’s contribution to the solution of local problems”. Our goal today is to further develop the connection between Ireland and Europe and to ensure that European issues are discussed in Ireland in a reasoned, robust and fair manner.

As an independent, civil society organisation, we are committed to maximising inclusivity in Irish-EU relations. We endeavour to ensure that the voices of Irish citizens are represented at all levels in Europe.

President: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD

Honorary Presidents: Denis Corboy, Catherine Day, Dr Miriam Hederman-O’Brien, Dr Ray McSharry, Ruairí Quinn, Peter Sutherland SC

Vice-Presidents: Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD, Pat Cox, Patricia King, Micheál Martin TD, Danny McCoy, James O’Leary, Liz Wall

Directors: Dr Mary Canning, John Carroll, Dónall Curtin, Dónal Denham, Hon Rory Guinness, Paul O’Faherty, Rosemary Steen, Jillian van Turnhout (Vice-Chairperson),

Chairman: Maurice Pratt       Secretary: Michael Shovlin        Executive Director: Noelle O Connell

Values and Mission Statement

Our Aims

  1. Provide an independent, reasoned, non-governmental voice on European issues
  2. Increase awareness and understanding of European issues among all sectors of Irish people
  3. Disseminate factual information about Europe in language that is clear and understandable
  4. Encourage Irish engagement at European level
  5. Act as a conduit between Ireland and Europe, representing and articulating Irish opinions to our EU counterparts

Our Mission

To develop the connection between Ireland and Europe

Our Vision

For European issues to be discussed in Ireland in a reasoned, robust and fair manner

Our Values

Engagement We work to foster proactive engagement on European issues through innovative, dynamic and creative participation
Responsibility  We work to ensure we all take responsibility for the role we play in EU matters and for how we as a people, and as a country, actively engage with Europe
Accountability We work to increase accountability and transparency at both European and Irish levels