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France’s European Affairs Minister to visit for future of Europe talks

France’s Minister for European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau, will visit Ireland later today (Monday, 19 February) for bilateral discussions with Helen McEntee T.D., Minister of State for European Affairs.

The discussions take place ahead of an informal summit in Brussels on Friday (23 February) when the European Union’s Heads of State and Government (including the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., and the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron) will discuss institutional issues and the future financing of the European Union (the ‘multi-annual financial framework’) as part of the ongoing Leaders’ Agenda on the future of Europe.

During their discussions Minister McEntee will brief her French counterpart on Irish views on Brexit and the talks will cover other European issues of common interest, including the completion of the Digital Single Market and the European Union’s trade agenda.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, 20 February) the two Ministers will present a European flag to pupils at the National School in Heronstown, Co. Meath, who are participating in the Blue Star Programme and later they will join staff and students at Maynooth University for a citizens’ dialogue on the future of Europe.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Minister McEntee said:

“As the future of Europe debate develops across Ireland and all of the European Union Member States, I am keen to keep the focus on the needs and concerns of our citizens.  I am looking forward to briefing Minister Loiseau on the citizens’ dialogues underway in Ireland. The visit is timely, just ahead of the discussion in Brussels later this week on the multi-annual financial framework, and the exchange with students in Maynooth will be an excellent opportunity to hear the views of the generation most concerned on the Europe they want in 10, 20 or 30 years’ time.”

Minister Loiseau said :

“I am happy to take part in a citizens’ dialogue in Ireland with my counterpart Minister McEntee. In 2018, throughout Europe, citizens’ consultations will give the floor to Europeans to sketch out Europe's future and identify priorities for action”.

Note for editors:

More information on the future of Europe debate and how to get involved is available at

The Blue Star Programme is a venture of the Communicating Europe Initiative, supported by the Office of the Minister of State for European Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Education and Skills, the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland.