Minister McEntee visits Paris for bilateral meetings with Nathalie Loiseau
Press release26 July 2017
The Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee TD has completed a two-day visit to Paris during which she met with her French opposite number, Nathalie Loiseau. The Minister thanked France for its support for Irish concerns around Brexit to date and outlined the key challenges that remain for Ireland as the process of the UK’s withdrawal continues. The Minister also discussed the Future of Europe; the key challenges and opportunities for the EU in the coming years and the task that remains in keeping citizens engaged with the EU project.
The Minister also had discussions with representatives of the Irish Business Community, Tourism Ireland and Bord Bia. France is Ireland’s fourth largest inward tourism market and there were 530,000 visitors from France last year. France is also Ireland’s largest export market globally for lamb, seafood and artisan beer; the second largest export market globally for beef; and third largest export market for whiskey.
Speaking during the visit, the Minister said:
"It was important that I met with Minister Loiseau early on my role so that we could discuss issues of mutual interest and concern but also to reaffirm our commitment to what has alway been an important ally and partner in Europe. I had an excellent meeting with the Minister where I raised Irish concerns over Brexit and issues of mutual interest including the future of Europe. France is a good friend of Ireland and has been supportive of our concerns over Brexit. This meeting also reaffirmed that support.
"I had an excellent meeting with members of the Irish business community and also with Tourism Ireland and Bord Bia.
It is important to hear from those on the ground as to how we can grow our market share of the tourism and food and drink sectors in France, two key areas for our economy”.