The Tánaiste (Deputy Irish Prime Minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD and Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton TD led the Irish Presidency delegation, representing EU Member States, in the this evening’s talks with the European Parliament and European Commission.
Speaking after tonight’s EU budget talks in Strasbourg, the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore TD said:
"We made very good progress tonight. I believe we are nearing a deal. The positive momentum we generated in previous meetings has been accelerated. The shape of the final deal is now in view, though some intensive negotiations remain."
"We will resume for our fifth and hopefully last trilogue on 18 June in Brussels."
"I remain confident that we can reach an agreement if there is sufficient political will on all sides. Our common goal is to ensure that €960 billion in EU funding can be mobilised to support economic growth and job creation across Europe."
"Time is getting tight. In these final days of talks, we as Irish Presidency will make every effort to reach agreement, on behalf of member states."
A final political trilogue will take place on 18 June 2013. In the meantime, intensive preparatory meetings will continue.