Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 30 Jun 1999

Vol. 507 No. 3

Written Answers. - Official Engagements.

John Bruton


13 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the most recent written or oral communications he has had with the President designate of the European Commission, Mr. Prodi; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16328/99]

As the House is aware I met the President-designate of the European Commission, Mr. Prodi in Dublin on 27 May. On that occasion we had a preliminary discussion on the shape of the Commission and the need for balance in designing portfolios. We also discussed the attributes and skills required by a Commissioner. Mr. Prodi attended the European Council in Cologne on 3-4 June. I had a follow-on telephone conversation with Mr. Prodi on 23 June where we discussed aspects of the above issues. I expect to speak to him again within the next couple of days when I hope to be in a posi tion to forward the name of the Commissioner to be nominated by Ireland.

Ruairí Quinn


14 Mr. Quinn asked the Taoiseach the official foreign engagements, if any, he has planned during the Dáil Éireann summer recess; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16451/99]

I intend to visit Russia in mid-September. The invitation to visit was conveyed by the then Russian Prime Minister Primakov when I met him in Shannon last March. Prime Minister Stepashin has renewed the invitation. While the programme for the visit is still developing at this point, it is likely that I will meet Prime Minister Stepashin on 14 September. In addition, I would hope to meet with President Yeltsin and other important political figures. This will be the first official visit to Russia from Ireland at Head of Government level, although Ireland has had diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation and previously with the Soviet Union for more than 25 years. Relations with Russia have been of significant economic benefit to Ireland. I would hope that this visit will serve to consolidate those relations and provide a basis for their future development. I expect to be accompanied by a business delegation.

It is also possible that I will attend a meeting of Heads of State and Government during the summer to discuss the EU's stability pact for South East Europe. The proposal for this summit was put forward by the German Presidency in recent days, but the arrangements have not yet been put in place. The summit may take place in July.