Minister for European Affairs Dick Roche Outlines Key Presidency Concerns
Minister for European Affairs Dick Roche today said that preparations for the EU Presidency had intensified in the recent weeks and that the final preparations are now being made.
Roche said, “The Presidency preparations are well on course and the country appear to be on course for a very successful period when we take on the Presidency in January 2004. The planning has been ongoing for a long period now, and I am delighted that most of the planning and logistics are at such an advanced stage.
The Presidency of the EU gives Ireland the opportunity to advance what we see as key concerns for the EU in the years ahead. Already a number of concerns have come to the fore as key concerns during our Presidency in 2004. The Lisbon Agenda has featured strongly in discussions so far, and I hope that Ireland can have a lead role in making the EU the worlds most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy.
During our Presidency the historic enlargement of the EU will occur. This will be a momentous occasion for both the accession countries and the EU as a whole. The significance of this occasion will mean that the Irish Presidency will be fully involved in ensuring that the transition period is as smooth as possible.”
Roche continued, “Another hugely significant event which may well occur during our Presidency, is an Intergovernmental Conference. This will come out of the European Convention. It is not clear yet when the Convention will finish, but it is increasingly possible that these discussions will take place during the Irish Presidency.
Planning is so far advanced that will be selecting the logo for our Presidency shortly. The end of this week is the closing date for votes from schools to select the logo for our Presidency on www.scoilnet.ie.”Top