Irish focus for Europe

26.02.2014

On Thursday 27 February, Members of the European and External Relations Committee will hear from their Irish counterparts via video conference as part of the Committee’s inquiry into the Scottish Government's proposals for an independent Scotland: membership of the European Union. During its evidence-taking earlier this year, the Committee heard that Ireland has been a very successful small state in the EU. Thursday’s meeting provides an opportunity to hear both what being a member of the EU has meant for Ireland as well as what Ireland has brought to the EU as an active and engaged small state.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Committee Convener Christina McKelvie said: “Ireland has much it can share with Scotland about its experience as a small Member State within the European Union. The contribution of the Irish parliamentarians will be most valued and I know our Committee members are looking forward to the discussions via video conference. Indeed, we have been grateful to all the experts that have contributed to our inquiry to date. Our evidence sessions have been most compelling and I am sure this one will be equally so.”
 
The video conference will take place at 10.15 on Thursday 27 February in Committee Room 1. Representatives from the Houses of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on European Union Affairs taking part are:

  1. Dara Murphy TD (Vice-Chair) (Fine Gael)
  2. Timmy Dooley TD (Fianna Fáil)
  3. Eric Byrne (Lab)
  4. Sean Crowe (SF)

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Deputy Murphy TD said: "Tomorrow’s engagement will provide an opportunity for us to outline the work of our Committee in influencing policy at European level. While we have no desire to impact on what is ultimately a sovereign decision for the Scottish people later this year, we hope that the diverse perspectives of the cross-party delegation will assist the Scottish European and External Relations Committee in their inquiry. We expect to discuss how Ireland's engagement with the European Union has evolved since accession in 1973 and consider recent Treaty changes which have increased the role for national parliaments in European decision-making.”
 
Those wishing to watch the Committee meeting can do so by booking a ticket for the public gallery ([email protected] / 0131 348 5200 / freephone 0800 092 7600 / Textphone users 0800 092 7100) or online by logging on to www.scottish.parliament.uk/tv
 
Members of the media should contact Sally Coyne, Senior Media Relations Officer at the Scottish Parliament if they need to secure accreditation to attend the Committee meeting. [email protected] / 0131 348 6265)
 
You can follow the European and External Relations Committee on twitter @SP_European
For news from the Oireachtas you can follow on twitter @OireachtasNews

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