I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 to 14, inclusive, together.
I attended an informal meeting of EU Heads of State and Government in Sibiu, or Hermannstadt, in Romania on 9 May. I will answer questions on yesterday's meeting separately. President Tusk convened the meeting on 9 May, with a view to an initial informal discussion of our strategic priorities for the years ahead. Our first session focussed on the EU's place in the world, while our second session was focused on internal challenges. Obviously the two are closely linked. Our discussions were based on four broad themes. These were protecting citizens and freedoms, developing our economic base, jobs and living standards, building a greener, fairer and more inclusive future, and promoting Europe's interests and values in the world. We adopted the Sibiu declaration, setting out ten basic commitments to guide us in our discussions on our new strategic agenda for the period from 2019 to 2024. The European Council is expected to discuss further and adopt this agenda at our meeting in June. My remarks at the summit were based on our national statement on the European Union, which was published on 17 April and discussed in the Dáil the following day.
This outlines our priorities, which include achieving a prosperous and competitive Union that is equipped for the future, including the completion of the Single Market in all its aspects; preparing for the social and economic challenges of the digital transformation; sustainability and leadership in climate action, including through a well designed and adequately funded Common Agricultural Policy, CAP; maintaining peace and security; and achieving a more effective partnership with Africa. I stressed that working to ensure a close, comprehensive and ambitious future partnership with the UK must be a priority for the Union. While I had no formal bilateral meetings in Sibiu, I engaged with most of my EU counterparts in the margins of the meeting, using the opportunity, as I always do, to promote Ireland's interests and to explain our case. I had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands the previous day, 8 May, where we discussed current EU issues and the excellent bilateral relations that exist between Ireland and the Netherlands.