Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, accompanied by Minister for European Affairs and Data Protection, Dara Murphy, TD, participated in today’s General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels, the first meeting of the body under the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Discussions at the meeting, which was attended by Ministers from across the EU’s 28 Member States, focussed on Italy’s programme for its six-month presidency. The GAC also took a number of procedural decisions on Lithuania’s adoption of the euro as its currency, which will take effect on 1 January 2015.
Addressing the meeting, Minister Flanagan stressed Ireland’s support for the priorities of the Italian EU Presidency. He said:
“I very much welcome Italy’s commitment to focus on boosting job creation, as well as the completion of the single market. Ireland is determined to work with the Presidency and all our EU partners to re-invigorate Europe’s post-crisis growth strategy, which is key to delivering real jobs and improvements in living standards across Europe.
“I was pleased to have a bilateral meeting with the Italian Foreign Minister, Frederica Mogherini, where we discussed the priorities for the Italian Presidency.”
Minister Murphy, speaking after the meeting, added:
“I took the opportunity at the GAC to consult with a number of my new European Ministerial colleagues about the key challenges facing the EU. I now look forward to more intensive bilateral consultations in the months ahead.”