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 has a National Parliament Office in Brussels with a full-time official representative to represent both Houses of the Oireachtas at EU level.

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.

Post-Lisbon Treaty

Following the Lisbon Treaty the Oireachtas went through a period of change on foot of the new powers afforded to all national parliaments of member states of the EU. The Treaty significantly strengthened the role of national parliaments in the EU architecture.

Committee on European Union Affairs

The European Union Affairs Committee plays a key role in informing debate on the European Union in Ireland by fully considering important EU developments and initiatives affecting Ireland, ensuring that EU legislation and proposals are properly scrutinised and in holding the Government to account in Ireland’s relations with Europe. The Committee also regularly engages with EU institutions to monitor and influence the political and strategic direction of the Union as a whole.

Relevant Links

An tOireachtas agus an tAontas Eorpach

Cé go raibh sé mar aidhm ag Éirinn a bheith ina ball den Chomhphobal chomh fada siar le 1961, níor tharla sé go dtí 1972 nuair a dearbhaíodh le reifreann iontráil na hÉireann sa Chomhphobal Eorpach agus tacaíocht á tabhairt ag 83 faoin gcéad de na toghthóirí do bhallraíocht. Chuaigh Éire in aontachas go foirmiúil i CEE, mar a bhí sé an tráth sin, sa bhliain 1973.


An Tionchar

Imríodh tionchar ollmhór ar fhorbairt na hÉireann mar thoradh ar ár mballraíocht i CEE agus, i rith na mblianta tar éis aontachas na hÉireann, tá ról ríthábhachtach comhlíonta ag an Oireachtas maidir leis an rialtas a choimeád cuntasach as na gníomhartha a ghlacann sé ag leibhéal an Aontais Eorpaigh agus trí fhaireachán a dhéanamh ar fhorbairtí suntasacha beartais ar mhaithe le hÉirinn.  Tá a thuilleadh forbartha agus treisithe déanta ag an Oireachtas ar a ról maidir le Gnóthaí Eorpacha, mar shampla Grinnscrúdú an Oireachtais ar thograí reachtaíochta AE a bhunú ar bhonn reachtúil trí Acht an Aontais Eorpaigh (Grinnscrúdú) 2002 a chur i bhfeidhm agus Coiste Grinnscrúdaithe tiomnaithe a chruthú sa 30ú Dáil.


An Todhchaí

Tá an tOireachtas i lár tréimhse athraithe arís anois de bhun na gcumhachtaí nua a tugadh do pharlaimintí náisiúnta uile bhallstáit AE faoi Chonradh Liospóin, lenar treisíodh go mór ról na bparlaimintí náisiúnta in Ailtireacht AE.