Press Release: “Europe Expects…” – Catherine Day, Secretary General, European Commission

High Hopes for Irish Presidency in Brussels

Dublin, 15 November 2012:  Speaking at a breakfast briefing in Dublin this morning, Secretary General of the European Commission, Irishwoman Catherine Day, spoke about the opportunities that the forthcoming Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU will offer for Ireland.  According to Ms Day, there is no doubt Ireland will be taking over the helm of Europe “at a very challenging time”.  However, “there are very high hopes for the Irish Presidency in Brussels”, said Ms Day, as we have “exactly the right balance of ambition and realism” to run a successful Presidency.

This morning’s event, which was organised by independent, not-for-profit organisation, European Movement Ireland (EM Ireland), offered its audience of business leaders an insight into workings at European Commission level and provided an overview of the expectations for the Irish Presidency.  Opening the event, EM Ireland Chairman, Maurice Pratt said: “The upcoming Irish Presidency represents a unique opportunity for us all: over 30,000 people will visit Ireland on official and unofficial Presidency business next year.  This is the seventh of Ireland’s Presidencies, and we won’t see another for many years so we need to capitalise the opportunity and leverage off it as we work to rebuild Ireland’s reputation and promote Brand Ireland.”

In her address, Catherine Day also drew on Ireland’s track record of six successful Presidencies, and stated that the 2013 Irish Presidency is expected by many in Brussels to be governed by “efficient chairmanship… and an ability to broker good compromises between the Member States”.  Europe is now at a defining political moment, according to Ms Day: “We go back, or we accept that a common currency means shared-decision-making, and we go forward.”

 Today’s briefing was organised by European Movement Ireland as part of their programme of events and briefings in advance of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, which will run from January to June 2013, and the European Year of Citizens 2013  More information on EM Ireland’s Presidency programme is available from




Notes for Editors

Available for comment

EM Ireland’s Executive Director, Noelle O’Connell is available for interview and comment.

Please contact EM Ireland Communications Manager on 01 662 5815, 085 111 5836 or email Jenny Flynn, at

 About European Movement Ireland

Founded in 1954, European Movement Ireland is a not-for-profit, voluntary, membership organisation working to make the connection between Irish people and the European Union.  For more information about European Movement Ireland’s campaigns, programmes, information briefings and events, visit

Through education programmes and advocacy work, European Movement campaigns for every Irish person to get involved with the European Union and, by doing so, help shape it through reasoned, robust and informed debate


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