Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Questions (182)

Charlie O'Connor

Question:

310 Mr. O'Connor asked the Minister for Education and Science the plans his Department has to promote Ireland's EU Presidency with the public; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2800/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

: My Department has put in place measures to help raise awareness among students of the significance of the Irish Presidency in 2004. I have put arrangements in place, in association with the national centre for technology in education, for the development and production of relevant classroom resources, which are now available through the Scoilnet website,www.scoilnet.ie/eupresidency. These resources provide up-to-date information and materials for schools on the European Union with a particular focus on the Irish EU Presidency. There is also extensive information available on the Irish Presidency website, www.eu2004ie. All primary and post-primary school pupils were also involved in the selection of Ireland's EU presidency logo, by registering their preferred option for the logo on-line.

On 7 January, I launched the education and youth presidency programme at Hartstown community school in west Dublin, together with the Ministers of State at the Department. A brochure outlining the programme has also been produced; the brochure contains information on the various meetings and conferences in the education and youth sector due to be held during the Presidency. I will ensure that appropriate publicity and dissemination measures will be put in place for each presidency event as they arise over the course of the next few months.

The Minister of State, Deputy de Valera, is in the process of conducting an information programme on the EU Presidency for post-primary schools to further promote an interest in EU affairs among young people during the Irish Presidency. The Minister intends to travel to 36 schools, at least one in each county, for the purposes of this information programme to which local public representatives will also be invited.