Political Division coordinates Ireland’s bilateral relationships with the countries of the Western Balkans region, including visits in both directions at political and official level. The Division monitors political developments and coordinates Ireland’s contribution to discussions at EU level on developments in the Western Balkans and the EU’s continuing engagement with the region. We work closely with our embassies in Greece (accredited to Serbia and Albania), Slovenia (accredited to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), Hungary (accredited to Kosovo and Montenegro) and Slovakia (accredited to Macedonia). At EU level, we work with our Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels to make Ireland’s contribution to EU policy on the region. Similarly, we cooperate with our Permanent Representation to the United Nations in New York to feed into United Nations decisions regarding the Western Balkans. In addition to EU meetings, the Division attends meetings of the Regional Cooperation Council (a framework to encourage regional cooperation in South East Europe and support European integration) and the International Steering Group for Kosovo (a group of 25 States that have recognised Kosovo’s independence, which supervises the implementation of the Comprehensive Status Settlement).
The Division is also responsible for political analysis and briefing on the 40 countries of Europe, including all EU members and candidate countries, in coordination with other divisions in the Department and Irish Embassies throughout Europe. We closely monitor the political situation in Cyprus and the UN Secretary General’s ongoing efforts to negotiate a lasting settlement on the island in coordination with our Embassy in Nicosia and the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations in New York.