🔴 LIVE: Briefing on the French Presidency of the Council of the EU

📅 11.00am (Irish Time) | Wednesday, 19 January 2022 | Click the play button above to begin stream.

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Minister of State for European Affairs - Thomas Byrne

Thomas Byrne TD, Minister of State for European Affairs

Thomas Byrne TD is Minister of State with responsibility for EU Affairs at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was appointed to this role in July 2020.

In this role, Minister Byrne represents Ireland on the EU General Affairs Council. This Council is mainly made up of European Affairs Ministers from all Member States. It coordinates preparations for European Council meetings. It deals with a number of cross-cutting policy areas including the multiannual financial framework, enlargement and any issue entrusted to it by the European Council.

He has been a TD for the Meath East constituency since the 2016 general election.
He was educated St Mary’s Diocesan School and Trinity College Dublin (LLB).
He is a solicitor and a member of the Law Society of Ireland along with being a member of the Law Council of NUI Maynooth.

Vincent Guérend

H.E. Vincent Guérend, Ambassador of France to Ireland

Vincent Guérend has been appointed French Ambassador to Ireland by the President of the French Republic, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, on 23 September 2020. He presented his Letters of Credentials to the President of Ireland on 28 October. His previous postings focused on European Affairs and Asia. He has spent 12 years in the EU institutions (European Commission and European External Action Service, EEAS).

Vincent was previously Chief of Staff of Mrs Amélie de Montchalin, Secratary of State for European Affairs, EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei-Darusalaam (2015-2019), the first Director for Finance and Corporate Support in the EEAS when the Service was set up, Deputy Chief of Mission at the French Embassy in Ankara (2009-2011), member and subsequently Deputy Chief of Staff of Mrs Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commissioner for External relations and Neighbourhood policy (2004-2009), political counsellor at the French Embassy in New-Delhi particular in charge of internal issues including Jammu-and-Kashmir (2001-2003).

He was the first deputy secretary general for Franco-German cooperation in 2003-2004 following the creation of joint Franco-German cabinet meetings in 2003. In this capacity, he was advisor to the German Minister for European Affairs and contributed to the coordination and preparation of the work of the Franco-German joint cabinet meetings.

He started his professional career in the French Ministry for foreign affairs in the EU Department, as desk for internal markert and the eurozone (1997-1999). He was then desk in charge of the 2000-2006 financial framework and of the negotiation of the Treaty of Nice during the French Presidency of the EU council (2000).

Vincent is an ENA (Ecole Nationale d’Administration) alumnus. He holds an MBA (Diplom-Kaufmann) of the wissentschaftliche Hochschule für Unternehmensführung Otto-Beisheim Hochschule Koblenz and is graduate from the Institut d’Etudes politiques de Paris and of the Ecole de Management de Lyon.

He spent one year in the French Army as second lieutenant (military service).

Noelle O Connell

Noelle O Connell was appointed CEO of European Movement Ireland in 2011. She was also elected a Vice President of European Movement International (encompassing European Movement councils in 34 countries and 38 international associations).

Prior to this, Noelle worked in business development, public affairs, member relations in a variety of sectors and for different bodies including CIF, ICOS, IITD. She has also worked in the third level sector and has managed significant national and international funding projects (e.g. Interreg, Skillnets, Erasmus+, Europe for Citizens etc.)

A former Director on the Board of Skillnets, Noelle is a voluntary Director of the board of Alliance Française Irlande, and in 2017 was name a Knight of the National Order of Merit awarded by the French President. In 2019, she was appointed an International Leadership Fellow of Society of Leadership Fellows, St. George’s House, Windsor Castle.  A member of the Institute of Directors and an Associate Specialist with the IPA, she was shortlisted for the Newstalk WMB Social Entrepreneur of the Year and is a Fellow of the Irish Institute of Training and Development.

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