Written Answers. - EU Council of Ministers.

Ivor Callely

Ceist:

96 Mr. Callely asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if the EU Council of Ministers have their own press/media services; if such services are adequate to deal with press/media related matters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16653/96]

The EU Council of Ministers is composed of Ministers from each member state meeting in various formations, for example the General Affairs Council, the Agriculture Council and the ECOFIN — Economics and Finance — Council. No one office bears exclusive responsibility for press and media arrangements for the Council of Ministers. Rather, each Presidency takes responsibility for the handling of press issues. The Presidency is assisted in this task by the Council of the European Union General Secretariat in Brussels, for example in the simultaneous issuing of press releases and in communicating information to the Brussels-based Press Corps. In the case of the Irish Presidency, the press offices of the individual relevant Government Departments provide the appropriate services for the media. These include issuing statements and press releases, giving press briefings, and making arrangements for the seven Informal Meetings of Ministers which are being held in Ireland during the six months of our Presidency.