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The Oireachtas and the EU

Although Ireland had aspirations to become a member of the Community as far back as 1961 it was not until 1972 when a referendum confirmed Ireland’s entry into the European Community with 83 per cent of voters supporting membership. Ireland formally acceded to the then EEC in 1973.

The Oireachtas National Parliament Office (NPO) in Brussels is the office which represents both Houses of the Oireachtas at EU level. National Parliament Office

The Impact

Joining the EEC had a radical impact on Ireland’s development and during the years that followed our accession, the Oireachtas has performed a crucial role in holding the government to account for its actions at EU level and by monitoring significant policy developments in Ireland’s interest.  The Oireachtas has over the years further developed and strengthened its role with regard to European Affairs for example putting Oireachtas Scrutiny of EU legislative proposals on a statutory footing by implementing the EU Scrutiny Act 2002 and the creation of a dedicated scrutiny Committee in the 30th Dail.

The Future

The Oireachtas again finds itself in a period of change on foot of the new powers afforded to all national parliaments of member states of the EU by the Lisbon Treaty which has significantly strengthened to role of national parliaments in the EU Architecture.


Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union - Parliamentary Dimension

Ireland held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first half of 2013. Eight major events were hosted by the Houses of the Oireachtas which in all attracted over one thousand delegates from across the European Union and beyond. View details of the meetings on parleu2013.ie.