European Commission to host 'post-Lisbon' debates


The European Commission is to host a series of public debates on 'key post-Lisbon issues' related to Ireland's relationship with the EU between now and the end of November.

The purpose of the debates, according to the Commission's Dublin office, is to foster "an energetic and informed debate" on issues "which were brought to the fore" during Treaty of Lisbon referendum campaign.

The debates, which will address topics such as Ireland’s Christian heritage, the economy, and conscription, have been described by the Commission as an important listening exercise.

The meeting takes place tomorrow, at the Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 on the topic: “Ireland in Europe - A Loss of Christian Memory?”

Mr Martin Territt, Head of the European Commission Representation in Dublin, said: "The aim of this series of public debates is to look at some of the difficult and controversial issues that arose from the debate on the Lisbon Treaty. There is much confusion and concern over issues such as defence and conscription, the impact of Ireland’s EU membership on its Christian heritage, and economic worries regarding job displacement.

“These are real questions and we want to give people a chance to have their say. There will be some well-known speakers with well-known views at these meetings to get things going, but all interested members of the public are invited to attend and give their questions and comments."

“We want to stimulate not just debate, but well-informed debate on the big issues, and to hear the opinions and concerns of members of the public at first hand. I would urge all interested members of the public to come along to these meetings. Listen to the various contributions and let your voice be heard on the issues that concern you.”

The confirmed dates for this schedule will include:

September 29thIreland in Europe – A Loss of Christian Memory? As above

October 6thDisplacement – Real or Imagined? Royal College of Physicians, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 8pm

Incl: Joan Burton TD (Labour Party), David Begg (ICTU), Marc Coleman (Newstalk)

October 9thThe Credit Crunch – Europe’s Role in Changing Economic Circumstances

Incl: Prof John Fitzgerald (ESRI), Jim Power (Friends First), Marie Sherlock (SIPTU) European Commission Offices, Dawson Street, Dublin 2, 11.30 am

October 20thEuropean Defence and Neighbourhood Policy

Incl: Lucinda Creighton TD (Fine Gael), Dr Andy Storey (UCD), Tom Clonan (Irish Times) Radisson SAS Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8 (nr St Patrick’s Cathedral) 8 pm

November 6thEurope – Addressing the Concerns of Women Kilkenny

November 17thSecuring Food Supply in the Global Market – The Role of GMOs North Dublin

November 20thWhat Can Europe Do To Secure Energy? Galway

TBAYoung People – Is Europe Listening?

TBAHow Europe Works