European Council Summit 14-15 December 2017

On Thursday 14 December, the European Council met in Brussels to discuss security and defence, social issues, education and culture, along with climate change and Jerusalem.  On Friday 15 December, leaders met in an EU27 format to review the Article 50 negotiations, as well as to hold a Euro Summit.  Security and Defence  The European Council Summit was opened with the launching of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) by the 25 participating EU leaders.  The main aim of PESCO is that participating “EU Member States work more closely…

Being in the EU is in Ireland’s national interest

On 10 May 1972, ‘What do I do’ by Sandie, Joe and the Dixies was top of the Irish charts, the day the public voted on whether Ireland should join the European Economic Communities (EEC).  Across the country, 70.9% of the electorate cast their ballot which, to this day, remains the highest percentage turnout for any Irish referendum. By a resounding  83% , Irish people answered ‘Yes to Europe’.  There and then, it was clear what Ireland should do.  …

French Presidential Elections 2017

Presidential elections took place in France over the course of two rounds in as many weeks, with the first round of voting taking place on Sunday, 23 April 2017.  Outgoing President, François Hollande, had held the Presidency since May 2012, but chose not to stand for re-election.  Voters went to the polls once again in the run-off on Sunday, 7 May,…

60 years on from the Treaty of Rome

60 years ago this Saturday, the leaders of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, West Germany, the Netherlands and Italy gathered in the Palazzo dei Conservatori to sign the Treaty of Rome; it was the Treaty which created the European Economic Community (EEC), which itself paved the way for the European Union (EU).  As they sat in this grandest of locations, surrounded by 16th century frescoes atop the…