Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (116)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

116. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which positive steps continue to be taken to influence the future of Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25577/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

At the informal summit in Sibiu, Heads of State and Government discussed priorities for the next five years, with a view to adopting a new Strategic Agenda at the European Council on 20-21 June to guide the work of the Institutions.

In late 2017 the Minister of State for European Affairs and I joined the Taoiseach in launching a citizens' dialogue on the future of Europe. There was extensive engagement across the country last year and a narrative report on the citizens' dialogue process was published in October.

On foot of this report, my Department, together with the Department of the Taoiseach, held consultations with Departments across Government earlier this year. Following these discussions, Ireland's National Statement on the European Union was approved by the Cabinet in April. The National Statement is Ireland's contribution to the new Strategic Agenda. It has been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas and was the subject of statements in Dáil Eireann just before the Easter recess.

We continue to engage actively with Member States and with the EU Institutions to contribute to the strategic agenda to guide the priorities of the EU for the coming five years.