EU Chief Brexit Negotiator announced as European of the Year at European Movement Ireland AGM
24 September 2020, Dublin: Head of Task Force for Relations with the UK, Michel Barnier, was announced as this year’s European Movement Ireland European of the Year at the organisation’s 2020 AGM held online this evening.
European Movement Ireland’s European of the Year Award recognises and pays tribute to individuals and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to developing the connections and relationship between Ireland and Europe.
Honouring Michel Barnier for his crucial work on the UK’s departure from the EU as Head of Task Force for Relations with the UK, Noelle O Connell, CEO of EM Ireland said,
“EM Ireland is delighted to bestow its highest honour, our European of the Year award, to the EU’s Head of Task Force for Relations with the UK, Mr Michel Barnier. In EM Ireland, we work to develop connections between Ireland and our neighbours across Europe. Promoting this greater engagement amongst the countries of Europe is something that Mr Barnier has pursued with distinction throughout his career, not least in his current role as the EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator with its many challenges. Despite this, he has never wavered from his commitment to safeguarding, protecting and upholding the integrity and values of the European Union.
“From his time as the European Commission’s regional commissioner in charge of the PEACE programme to his appreciation of the unique impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland, Michel Barnier has gained the trust and respect of people across Ireland though his tireless work to achieve the best possible outcome of the challenges posed by Brexit. It is an honour to name Michel Barnier as EM Ireland’s very well deserved European of the Year.”
Concluding EM Ireland’s 2020 AGM, Chairman of European Movement Ireland, Maurice Pratt paid tribute to Michel Barnier as, “a most worthy and distinguished recipient of EM Ireland’s European of the Year award.” He commended Michel Barnier, “in recognition, and paying tribute to his work over many years on the Brexit negotiations, and for the strong support, solidarity and understanding he has shown during his tenure in acknowledging the impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland.”
Michel Barnier will be presented with EM Ireland’s European of the Year Award at a later date in line with Covid-19 public health guidelines.
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Press Queries: Lisa Nic an Bhreithimh, Communications and Campaigns Manager, European Movement Ireland | 087 9503539 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact Lisa Nic an Bhreithimh to arrange for interview / comment – details as above. Tá urlabhraithe Gaeilge ar fáil le hagallaimh a dhéanamh leis na meáin Gaeilge;
- About the European of the Year Award: This award recognises and honours individuals and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to developing the connections and the relationship between Ireland and Europe. Since it was established in 1988, the title has been awarded to a distinguished list of Irish individuals with backgrounds in the arts, business, politics and administration, including playwright, Brian Friel; businessman, Michael Smurfit; IarThaoisigh Garret Fitzgerald, Enda Kenny and Albert Reynolds; former Secretary-General of the EU Commission, Catherine Day; the Irish Defence Forces, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization and Attorney General of Ireland, Peter Sutherland, and recently deceased Nobel Peace Prize winner, John Hume.
- Michel Barnier is a French politician who has served in various French government cabinet positions including as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries (2007 – 2009), Minister of Foreign Affairs (2004 – 2005), Minister of State for European Affairs (1995 – 1997) and Minister of the Environment and Way of Life (1993 – 1995). He served at European level as MEP for France (2009 – 2010), as European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services (2010 – 2014) and for Regional Policy (1999 – 2004). Since 2016 he has served as the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator of Task Force 50.
- About European Movement Ireland: Founded in 1954, European Movement (EM) Ireland is the longest established Irish NGO working on European affairs. An independent, not-for-profit, membership organisation, EM Ireland works to develop the connection between Ireland and the European Union. We facilitate links between all sectors of Irish society and the EU, through advocacy campaigns, education programmes, training courses, information briefings and networking events. For more information, visit europeanmovement.ie.