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MEDIA NOTIFICATION: Ireland 40 years on: the benefits, opportunities and challenges of EU membership


Issue Date:  Monday, 28 January 2013
Press Queries:  Jenny Flynn, Communications Manager, EM Ireland
T: 01 662 5815  M: 085 111 5836  E: jenny@europeanmovement.ie

Ireland 40 years on: the benefits, opportunities and challenges of EU membership

Ireland joined the EU in 1973, has held 8 referenda on EU Treaties and is currently managing its 7th Presidency of the Council of the EU. Since 1973, trade has increased 90 fold, Irish businesses have unhindered access to a market of over 490 million people and an estimated 700,000 jobs have been created. But now… what next?

On 1 February 2013, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Movement Ireland are organising a high-level conference to mark Ireland’s 40th anniversary of accession to the EU and the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2013.

Friday 1 February 2013, 9 am – 5 am

Castleknock Hotel & Country Club, Porterstown Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15

Top speakers will include:

  •     Minister Joan Burton, Minister for Social Protection
  •     Staffan Nilsson, President of the EESC
  •     Senator Jillian van Turnhout, Senator and Vice-President of EM Ireland
  •     Mairead McGuinness MEP, Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
  •     Luca Jahier, President of the Various Interests Group of the EESC
  •     John McHALE, Chairman of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council
  •     John BRYAN, President of the Irish Farmers’ Association

Among other topics, participants will discuss “The costs and consequences of a non-Europe”, “Ireland as an example of how to cope with the challenges posed by the financial crisis”, plus a range of various other topics concerning the future of European farming and the environment.  For more information and the full conference programme, please follow this link.

To confirm attendance, arrange interviews with the conference speakers and for any further information on this event, please contact:
Alejandro Lopez Izquierdo | +32 25469406 | Alejandro.IzquierdoLopez@eesc.europa.eu OR Jenny Flynn | +353 1 662 5815 | jenny@europeanmovement.ie


Notes for Editors

Interesting Facts about Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU
The Irish Presidency will take place against a backdrop of a number of political and economic issues:

–  This Presidency will mark the seventh time Ireland has held the role since accession in 1973

–  The Irish Presidency will host in excess of 170 official meetings, with over 15,000 visitors expected to travel to the country on official and unofficial Presidency business  during  the six months

–  The 2013 Irish Presidency is expected to cost the country approx. €60 million, with an additional €10 million allocated to security, a significant reduction on the €110 million 2004 Presidency price tag

–  Of the six Presidencies between 2012 and 2014, only Ireland and Denmark have previous experience of holding a Presidency

–  The European Parliament now has a co-decision role on the vast majority of European legislation with wider powers in relation to international agreements.  Ministers and Working Group Chairs will need to work more closely with the European Parliament than during Ireland’s previous Presidency

–  2013 marks the final full year of work for both the current European Parliament and the Barroso Commission – in 2014 European Parliament elections will take place and a new College of Commissioners will be appointed

–  Elections in several EU Member States, including a general election in Italy in February 2013 and federal election in Germany in the Autumn will have an impact on the Presidency

Key Issues for the Irish Presidency

  •     Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)
  •     The Single Market
  •     Continuing developments in the Euro area
  •     Progression of the Atlantic Strategy
  •     CAP and CFP reform
  •     Review of the European External Action Service
  •     Continuing enlargement process with Iceland, Turkey, Montenegro and Macedonia
  •     Croatian accession on 1 July 2013 and collaboration with Lithuanian Presidency
  •     Implementation of the Stockholm Programme
  •     Completion of EU2020 flagship issues including the Digital Agenda
  •     Development and humanitarian policy

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 www.europeanmovement.ie.
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

Available for comment
Please contact EM Ireland Communications Manager, Jenny Flynn, on 01 662 5815, 085 111 5836 or email jenny@europeanmovement.ie to arrange interviews.


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