Written Answers. - Ministerial Functions.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

28 Mr. Quinn asked the Taoiseach the proposed role and functions of the Minister of State with responsibility for European Affairs at his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13229/02]

The Government appointed Ms Mary Hanafin as Minister of State at my Department and Government Chief Whip. Deputy Roche was appointed Minister of State at my Department and at the Department of Foreign Affairs with responsibility for European Affairs.

The Minister of State Deputy Hanafin as Chief Whip is primarily responsible for the organisation of Government business in the Dáil and for the Government's programme for Dáil Reform.

She also oversees preparation of the Government's legislative programme and has responsibility for the Central Statistics Office. I have also assigned her special responsibility for information society development. Her role will be to ensure that the necessary coordination of policy is achieved, and to support initiatives relating to the information society agenda.

The Minister of State, Deputy Roche will play a key co-ordinating role in the ratification of the Treaty of Nice. He will also play a pivotal role in advancing preparations for Ireland's Presidency of the European Union in 2004. In addition to these duties, Deputy Roche will have a heavy work load within the Department of Foreign Affairs, representing the Government at meetings in a wide range of contexts related to European Affairs matters and representing Ireland at EU meetings at Minister of State level on European Union affairs.

Question No. 29 resubmitted.