Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (92)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

92. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach the criteria for nomination of the Irish members of the European Economic and Social Committee; and if future appointments will be subject to public advertisement through State boards or other public means. [52158/18]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is an advisory body whose function is to represent economic and social interests in the Union’s decision-making process.

The EESC has 350 members, who are drawn from economic and social interest groups in Europe. Members are nominated by national governments and appointed by the Council of the European Union for a renewable five year term of office. The latest renewal was in October 2015, for the 2015-2020 term of office.

The number of members is in proportion to the country’s population. Ireland has nine places on the EESC. Members are independent and perform their duties in the interest of all EU citizens.

The EESC has a tripartite structure reflecting broad groups of members to facilitate the organisation of its work and its decision-making. Group I compromises representatives of employers, Group II compromises representatives of employees, and Group III compromises representatives of various interests. My Department invites nominations to the Committee and manages the expressions of interest. The Government approves nominations, which are forwarded to the Secretariat of the Council.

As a new term of EESC is not due to commence until October 2020, I am not in a position to comment on any future nomination procedure at this point in time.