European Movement Ireland Statement following presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs
Dublin, Wednesday 4 October, 2017: Today, European Movement (EM) Ireland Chairman, Maurice Pratt, and Executive Director, Noelle O Connell, presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs. The presentation was on the topic of the Future of Europe, a process launched by the European Commission with the presentation of a White Paper to open up debate.
Speaking after the presentation, Maurice Pratt, Chairman of EM Ireland, said that debate on the Future of Europe is ongoing across many Member States and that Ireland needs to be active in the shaping the process. He commented: “The European Union needs reform, and to explain its relevance to the daily lives of citizens in order to address the disconnect that exists. We need an inclusive debate on this. The Future of Europe process provides the ideal platform through which to engage on this and to make the positive case for Ireland’s EU membership; what we gain from being a part of the EU, what the EU gains in turn from our membership, and how we want that relationship to be in the future.”
He continued: “Time is of the essence and we must not shy away from this debate”.
Also speaking afterwards, Executive Director of EM Ireland, Noelle O Connell, said, “The scenarios outlined in the Future of Europe White Paper are not mutually exclusive. There is overlap and the White Paper was intended to drive debate rather than confine it. It is in our national interests to consider and put forward arguments as to how much we want Europe to do – what we are comfortable with and what we are not”.
She concluded: “We have a limited window of opportunity to input into this critically important, fast moving and evolving process. First conclusions will be drawn at the European Council Summit in December so it has never been more important that we seize the moment to have our say”.