Minister for European Affairs welcomes expansion of Embassy network21 January 2014
Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe T.D., has welcomed the announcement by An Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., that five new Irish Embassies and three new Consulates are to be established in Europe, South East Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Minister Donohoe said that the inclusion of an Embassy in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, will ensure that Ireland is better represented in Europe. This will enable Ireland to better play our part and to make the most of the opportunities available to us.
“Our Embassies and Consulates across the world are tasked with representing Ireland and Irish citizens and it is within that framework that this announcement is being made today.
“I am particularly pleased that an Embassy is to be established in Croatia, our newest member of the European Union, as this will allow Irish businesses to be better supported in advancing trade, tourism and investment opportunities there. The re-establishment of our Embassy at the Holy See is also most welcome as this will give us a presence on the ground, enabling us to engage directly with the leadership of Pope Francis on issues of importance such as human rights and the eradication of hunger.
“While we still have a considerable distance to go in terms of getting the Irish economy back to where we would like it to be, there are very clear signs that we are headed in the right direction. The announcement this afternoon that we are expanding our diplomatic missions to such an extent is another vote of confidence in the Irish economy and in our steady recovery.
“Maintaining a diplomatic presence in every EU capital is an important part of Government policy as it allows us put our best foot forward in representing Irish interests at home, as well as in serving Irish citizens abroad.
“I note that the cost of establishing the new missions will come from within the existing budget of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and that the staffing allocation for each mission will be considerably smaller in size, comprising of between one and three diplomatic staff.”
21 January 2014