Minister of State for European Affairs, Peter Burke T.D., to attend meeting of the GAC
Press release21 February 2023
Minister for European Affairs, Peter Burke T.D., will attend a meeting of the General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels on Tuesday, 21 February. At the GAC, Ministers will begin preparations for the March European Council by discussing the proposed agenda covering Ukraine/Russia, Competitiveness, the Single Market and Economic Issues, and Energy. Ministers will also meet in special format to discuss the EU’s Strategic Foresight Network where the focus will be on how best to ensure a socially and economically sustainable Europe with a stronger role in the world in the coming decades. Under AOB, the Swedish Presidency will update Ministers on the EU response to the recent devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria while the Commission will briefly present its recently published communication on EU Disaster Resilience Goals.
Ahead of the meeting, Minister Burke said:
“As we approach the bleak milestone of one-year since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Ireland is committed to continuing our steadfast support of Ukraine, particularly given the evidence of a renewed Russian offensive. In 2022, the Irish Government provided over €50 million in bilateral support for Ukraine. As we enter the second year of the conflict, Ireland’s focus will be on responding to the ongoing critical humanitarian situation and addressing the most immediate needs of the Ukrainian people.
"I am pleased that the first instalment of €3 billion of the EU’s latest Assistance package for Ukraine has already been disbursed. With this regular and predictable financial support, Ukraine will be able to maintain essential public services such as hospitals, schools, and housing. It will also be able to better restore critical infrastructure destroyed by Russia.
“It is also important that I and other EU Affairs Ministers receive an update on the collective EU response to the devastating recent earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria which have claimed the lives of so many. Ireland has donated over €10 million to the earthquake relief and has dispatched the largest ever deployment of emergency stocks under the Rapid Response Initiative, supporting the provision of temporary shelter, food and cash for the most vulnerable.”
21 February 2023