PRESS RELEASE: Commission Secretary General Catherine Day: ‘European elections are an opportunity for pro-European parties to work together’

Brussels, 18 February 2014: Speaking at a breakfast event organised this morning by the Brussels Branch of independent, not-for-profit organisation, European Movement Ireland, in association with the global accountancy network BDO, European Commission Secretary General, Catherine Day, said that this year’s elections to the European Parliament are an opportunity for pro-European parties to work together.  Opening the event, EM Ireland Brussels Branch Chair Mr Noel Clehane, highlighted Ms Day’s impressive CV and paid tribute to her significant accomplishments to date.

Addressing a packed audience in Brussels city centre this morning, which included MEPs, diplomats, business leaders and other high-level officials, the EU’s most senior civil servant said that during the economic crisis, Europe had become understandably ‘inward looking’ and that there is now a need to get the focus back on Europe’s place in the world.

According to Ms Day, among the top challenges facing the new European Commission would be the economy, particularly employment, the UK situation and the issue of migration, which she said would require a more ‘mature and informed debate’. Referring to the recent Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, Ms Day said that Ireland’s leadership during the first six months of 2013 was justifiably praised and that the Irish economy was much bigger than the country itself. Emphasising the importance of Ireland’s place in Europe, she said that that in globalised world, small countries like Ireland can have a ‘real influence’ on a global scale as part of the EU.

Thanking Ms Day for her clear, articulate and insightful contributions, Mr Maurice Pratt, Chair of European Movement Ireland, said that in view of upcoming elections to the European Parliament, it was important to remind people of what Europe actually means.

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Available for comment

EM Ireland’s Executive Director, Noelle O Connell is available for interview and comment.  Contact Jenny Flynn at EM Ireland, on 01 662 5815, 085 111 5836 or email jenny@europeanmovement.ie

About European Movement Ireland’s Brussels Branch

Established in March 2013, European Movement Ireland’s Brussels Branch, which is voluntary in nature, aims to facilitate networking and enhance collaboration opportunities between European Movement Ireland’s Brussels and Irish-based members. The Branch works to promote the organisation’s aims and priorities and seeks to become a successful and vibrant extension of European Movement Ireland based overseas. For more information, please visit our webpage on the European Movement Ireland website or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/EMIrelandBrussels.

 

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