Minister for Foreign Affairs calls for proposals to commemorate Europe Day
Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs, today
stressed the importance of raising public awareness of the European
Union and of explaining the EU’s impact on our daily lives. The
Minister was announcing details of a scheme under which voluntary
organisations, educational bodies and civil society groups can
apply to the Department of Foreign Affairs for funding under the
“Communicating Europe Initiative”.
Minister Ahern said:
“It is a priority of this Government to encourage greater public awareness and understanding of developments within the European Union, which is of such central importance for the future of this country. The Programme for Government contains a commitment to assist with local events commemorating Europe Day on 9 May. This is a day which is celebrated throughout the EU each year to mark the historic Declaration made by Robert Schumann on 9 May 1950 which inspired the development of the European Union.
I want to encourage applications from groups in different parts of the country who are interested in organising local events to celebrate Europe Day. As in previous years, funding is also available for other projects which can contribute to enhanced public awareness of how the European Union affects the lives of citizens, in a real and tangible way”.
The Minister explained that the funding for the “Communicating Europe Initiative” is quite separate from the Government’s information campaign on the EU Reform Treaty. “Quite apart from this year’s EU Treaty referendum, there is a general need for the public to have a greater understanding of the European Union. It is recognised across Europe that increased public engagement with the Union is essential and that Member States have an obligation to facilitate this engagement by ensuring that EU programmes continue to respond to the genuine needs of our citizens,” the Minister said.
Note for Editors:
The Communicating Europe Initiative (CEI) was established in 1995 to improve the quality and accessibility of public information on European issues. The Department of Foreign Affairs administers the funding. This year, Exchequer funding totalling €240,000 is available for eligible projects. CEI funds cannot be used to promote any particular outcome to the Reform Treaty referendum.Top