Dublin, 13 December 2011: Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton TD, addressed European Movement Ireland’s December Advisory Council and Member Meeting in EU House last night, Monday 12 December.
The discussion was dominated by last week’s Brussels Summit, with Minister Creighton offering those in attendance an overview of the terms of the deal reached by European leaders in the early hours of last Friday morning. Minister Creighton confirmed that last week’s agreement on the creation of a fiscal compact goes some of the way towards achieving what the government hoped it would; that is, stabilisation of the single currency, economic growth and the beginning of a move out of recession. Last week’s agreement consolidates elements of European fiscal policy that have been discussed and agreed at previous Summits and represents a “credible, enforceable and realistic set of proposals in terms of budgetary scrutiny and economic governance”.
With regards to the possibility of the requirement of a referendum here in Ireland, clarification on this issue will not be forthcoming until a more complete draft of the text of the new agreement is provided. Ireland, in tandem with its European partners, will feed into the drafting of this document, which will be available by March of 2012, according to Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD.
Last night, Minister Creighton expressed regret at the decision of the UK to pull out of the treaty reform discussions but stated that it was vitally important for Ireland to move forward with its European partners rather than isolating itself on the periphery of the Union. Ireland’s relationship with the UK remains strong and solid but this country must work with other euro zone countries to move the agenda forward and to protect the single currency.
Speaking in relation to the forthcoming Irish Presidency of the European Council from January to June 2013, Minister Creighton described it as a fantastic platform to help us to re-build our reputation on both the European and the international stage, affording the Irish people a valuable opportunity to showcase the country and encourage growth and jobs.
Thanking the Minister for her address, European Movement Ireland Chairman Maurice Pratt said: “It is hoped that the solutions proposed on Friday will result in a more stable, credible and cohesive future for the EU. It is critically important that clarification on the text and content of Friday’s agreement is provided as quickly as possible so that concrete steps can be taken to safeguard the viability of the euro zone. We look forward to hearing more from the Minister on the progression of this issue.”