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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 23 Jun 1982

Vol. 336 No. 6

Written Answers. - European Political Co-operation.


asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will outline his attitude towards the initiatives taken by the German Foreign Minister, Herr Genscher for the enactment of a new Treaty of Europe in regard to political co-operation.

The initiatives to which the Deputy refers concern proposals on European Union put forward jointly by the Foreign Ministers of Germany and Italy. A summary of the proposals is given in Chapter 19 of the Nineteenth Report on Developments in the European Communities (Pl. 333) which was laid before the House on 5 May 1982. These proposals envisage not the enactment of a new Treaty at present but rather the adoption of a "European Act" in the form of a solemn political declaration to be signed by the Heads of State and Government of the member states of the European Communities.

The aim of these proposals is to strengthen the Community and European Political Co-operation by confirming the commitment of the member states to make progress towards European Union, by reaffirming the broad political objectives of the Community, by increasing the efficiency of its decision-making procedures, and by ensuring closer coordination between activities undertaken in the framework of the Treaties establishing the European Communities and those carried out in the inter-governmental framework of European Political Co-operation.

Ireland endorses the objective of wishing to see the mutual relations of the member states of the European Communities evolve towards a European Union. For this reason, Ireland has taken a generally positive approach towards the German-Italian initiative. Discussions are continuing among the member states on the proposals and, in the course of those discussions, Ireland has expressed the view that progress towards European Union can best be made by strengthening the community of interest among the member states in the areas of economic integration covered by the Treaties and by promoting greater convergence among the economies of the member states. The community of interest and convergence thus developed can strengthen the foundations for further steps towards political unification.