Minister Donohoe addresses British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in London21 October 2013
Minister Paschal Donohoe T.D. addressed the plenary of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly this afternoon in London. Ireland’s EU Presidency, its relationship with the EU and the shared relationship of Ireland, the UK and the European Union were the three core themes of his speech.
Speaking on how EU membership played a significant role in improving the relationship between Britain and Ireland, Minister Donohoe highlighted:
“I believe that all of our efforts are strengthened by our membership of the European Union helping us to create societies and economies that can respond and beat the challenges of today and tomorrow.
It is due to our joint European membership, and the impact of the peace process, our bilateral relations have never been stronger or more positive. I am therefore certain that the European Union is stronger with the UK as a full and committed member. Not just because of the strength of our relationship but because all that Britain brings to the EU, its policies and its institutions.”
Minister Donohoe highlighted the crucial role that the EU has played in the Northern Ireland Peace Process. In his address to the plenary session of the Assembly, Minister Donohoe also highlighted the successes of Ireland’s EU Presidency in the first half of the year:
“This was a ‘People Presidency’ designed to build new, and re-build old, relationships. It enabled us to deliver on a Presidency programme which progressed policies that will improve people’s lives.”
The Minister for European Affairs underlined Ireland's continued commitment to Europe.
"Due to the size, location and history of Ireland we recognise that Ireland can best achieve our interests through working deeply with other states. And we have recognised that the most effective form of cooperation can be delivered through the voluntary sharing of sovereignty within the European Union. It is because of this that Ireland is an integrated and committed member of the EU community and will remain so."