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Government meets European Parliament Conference of Presidents in first formal event of the Irish EU Presidency

29.11.2012, 18:26 GMT


Taoiseach and Tánaiste stress Irish Presidency’s focus on stability, jobs and growth

The Taoiseach and Tánaiste, along with ministerial colleagues, are hosting the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents today in Dublin Castle. This is the first formal Presidency-related event to take place in Ireland.

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The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, was welcomed at Dublin Castle this afternoon by the Taoiseach and Tánaiste. Following a short initial meeting ahead of the full plenary meeting with Ministers and parliamentary leaders, a press conference took place.

Welcoming President Schulz, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. said:
“I can tell you that the Irish Presidency will be in the business of solutions because that’s what the people expect and nothing less. 2013, after all, will be the European Year of Citizens."


The difference we intend to make will be all about three objectives. Stability, jobs and growth.

The Taoiseach concluded:
“I look forward to getting down to work, as a recovery country leading a recovery Europe. The preparations are nearly over. We’re ready to do business as Presidency, starting in just a few weeks’ time.”
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D. said:
“With many pressing issues on the table as we take over on January 1, Ireland stands ready to execute an effective and efficient Presidency.

We are already thinking about our role in relation to pushing for a deal on the EU budget – which is certainly high on my agenda as incoming Chair of the General Affairs Council. Securing a deal on the MFF is a vital step towards strengthening social cohesion and fighting unemployment – especially youth joblessness.We’re also focused on making real progress on enlargement, and leveraging the economic benefits of the Single Market.”

ENDS


Background


This visit of European Parliament leaders is an important feature of the pre-Presidency schedule of contacts. The Parliament leaders and the government, led by the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste, are discussing the Irish Presidency’s priorities for its six months in office from January-June 2013. These priorities can be summarised as stability, jobs and growth.
The Council of the European Union, consisting of national governments of the member states, will be chaired by Irish Ministers for the duration of this six-month Presidency, starting on 1 January. The European Parliament is the EU institution which co-decides legislation with the Council, with the EU Presidency as its principal negotiating partner on behalf of Member States.


The European Parliament delegation is being led by the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and the chairpersons of the Parliament’s political groups. Their two day visit, known as the Conference of Presidents, will include a visit to the Oireachtas and a meeting with the President at Áras an Uachtaráin.

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