Barroso: Ireland has returned to ‘normal’

Commission president says portrayal of Europe as being obsessed with austerity is wrong

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso will be awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by UCC this evening.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso will be awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by UCC this evening.

Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 13:58

The portrayal of Europe as being obsessed with austerity and creating difficulties for Ireland is wrong, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso will say today.

In a speech to be delivered at University College Cork this evening, Mr Barroso will say that the EU has opened markets for Irish business, created jobs for Irish citizens and given the country financial assistance.

Over the past seven years alone, Ireland has received nearly €14 billion in European Union budget support, for agriculture but also for social and infrastructure investment as well as research.

President Barroso will be awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by UCC this evening, where he is expected to hail Ireland’s return to “normal” in EU terms.

UCC president Dr Michael Murphy said the university was acknowledging the vision and commitment Mr Barroso has demonstrated at the helm of the European Commission since 2004.

“In honouring him, we also recognise the role that the European Union has played in the transformation of Irish universities, including UCC, over the past 20 years,” Dr Murphy said.