Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Ceisteanna (352)

Charlie O'Connor


477 Mr. O'Connor asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the plans his Department has to promote Ireland's EU Presidency with the Irish public; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2804/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

Ireland's environment programme for the EU Presidency is being actively promoted by my Department. Early last month, my Department published a special Presidency edition of the quarterly Environment Bulletin entitled, EU Presidency environment programme January-June 2004, which outlines our plans and arrangements for the Presidency from an environmental point of view. Copies of the bulletin have been widely circulated, including to members of the Oireachtas, local authorities, public libraries, schools, non-governmental organisations and business interests. It is also available on my Department's website, and in hard copy form directly from my Department and ENFO, my Department's public information service on environmental matters. Further editions of the bulletin will include articles reporting developments and progress on the environment programme over the course of the Presidency.

In addition, my Department has a policy page on the official website of the Irish Presidency www.eu2004.ie and is updating information on environmental policy, events and other developments on an ongoing basis. The Presidency website is linked to my Department's own website which contains further relevant information, including contact details for staff dealing with the items which comprise the environmental programme.

The role of local authorities is important in ensuring the effective and efficient management of the Presidency and in promoting the Presidency at local level. In this regard, my Department has asked all local authorities to fly the Irish and EU flags for the six month period. Also, copies of an information leaflet summarising the overall goals and objectives of the Presidency will shortly be provided by my Department to all local authorities for distribution locally.

In addition to providing information on the environmental programme for the Presidency ENFO, my Department's public information service on environmental matters, will hold an exhibition on the environment in the ten new member states joining the EU on 1 May 2004. The exhibition, which will be held over the month of May at ENFO's offices in 17 St. Andrew Street, Dublin 2, will be open to the public and admission will be free.