Visiting Dublin, President Van Rompuy discusses responses to the challenges ahead and backs the Irish Presidency’s policy programme.
The visit today of Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, is the first major event of the Irish Presidency in Dublin which will see approximately 180 other meetings and events there between now and the end of June.
Discussions between the Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and President Van Rompuy centred on the Irish Presidency’s plans to secure the foundations for economic recovery in the EU and enable job creation. Particular focus was given to the Banking Union measures and effective economic governance in order to promote stability
They discussed the business of the European Council over the next few months, including trade policy, energy and the European Semester process.
The Taoiseach and Tánaiste also stressed the Presidency’s support in reaching agreement on the EU’s future financing from 2014-2020 to underpin growth and job creation through funding for regional cohesion in Europe, support for developing sectors such as research and innovation, stronger investment in Europe’s telecommunications, transport and energy networks, and securing more sustainable development in agriculture and fisheries.
Discussions also centred on the Irish Presidency’s objective of tackling youth unemployment, which will be the focus of an informal Ministerial meeting in Dublin in February. Plans by the Presidency to focus on specific sectors to stimulate growth and jobs were also highlighted. These include attaching a stronger priority to the Single Market (including the Digital Single Market), measures aimed at support European SMEs, reaching agreement on the Horizon 2020 programme to underpin European research and innovation into the future, and the EU external trade agenda.
Enda Kenny T.D., Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland): President Van Rompuy knows us well in Ireland, knows the position we are in and understands our national determination to recove our fortunes. Today we agreed to work together on Europe’s recovery programme over the next six months. The EU has moved from crisis response to crisis management to stability. Now, in 2013, we need to move on to a new phase of recovery.
Eamon Gilmore T.D. Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland): I look forward to working very closely with President Van Rompuy and his team. As President of the General Affairs Council, I will ensure the closest co-operation with the work of the European Council, including on the Multiannual Financial Framework. In 2013, recovery has to start meaning something to people, so our work together at EU level should be a key part of that.
Following today’s meeting, President Van Rompuy spoke at an event organised by Ithe Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation.
Tomorrow, the Government will welcome the European Commission College (led by President Barroso) to Dublin tomorrow to discuss Irish Presidency priorities.