Reform and Referendum: The UK, Ireland & the Future of Europe

Mailchimp Photo JFEuropean Movement Ireland is hosting a series of conversations in Ireland about the UK’s EU agenda. 

The UK’s forthcoming ‘In-Out’ referendum as well as its related reform agenda have profound implications for Ireland and the rest of the EU. We believe that Irish people need to understand and engage with these issues, therefore we are organising a series of events, beginning on 9 November in Dublin.

Dublin Event, November 2015

We were honoured that Tánaiste Joan Burton TD kindly opened the event and launched our Conversation series.  You can read Ms Burton’s speech here.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe & External Affairs in the Scottish government delivered the keynote address: Scotland’s Future in the EU: A Renewed Vision of Solidarity, Social Protection and Mutual Support.

European Movement Ireland’s Executive Director Noelle O Connell proposed that “the impact on the EU and Ireland should the UK succeed in securing its reform agenda must also form part of the present debate on a possible UK exit from the EU.”


Laura Sandys, Chairperson of European Movement UK & leading campaigner for the UK to remain in the EU, spoke passionately from the heart. Laura has recommended a video from a ‘TEDx’ event she spoke at and the Students4Europe one, a new group in the UK.

Ian Parsley, Chairperson of European Movement Northern Ireland delivered a challenging perspective which was very positively received in the room.

And last, but not least, our colleague Petros Fassoulas, Secretary General of European Movement International outlined the likely reforms the UK government would seek as well as informed insights about how these might be received and managed by others.

An excellent Q&A followed which was ably moderated by Noel Whelan, along with the rest of the event.

H.E. Ambassador Dominick Chilcott closed the event with his personal reflections on the morning’s proceedings.

This event leads off a series of at least four to be held across Ireland in 2016 and depending on the date of the UK referendum, in 2017 also.

We will provide regular updates with the assistance of our National Conversation Rapporteur Amy McArdle, on this site and through our social media channels.