Ministers to outline EU presidency priorities


Twenty Government Ministers will travel to Brussels over the next three days to present to European Parliament committees as part of the Irish presidency of the European Council.

They will deliver 27 presentations to the various European Parliament committees outlining Ireland’s priorities for the presidency.

Since the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament has gained additional co-decisionmaking powers. Hence gaining support from the parliament is a key function of Ireland’s presidency of the European Council as it strives to progress various pieces of legislation.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar will be the first when he presents to the European Parliament committee on transport at 4pm today. Tomorrow and Wednesday there will be a full schedule of presentations.

They include Minister for Finance Michael Noonan’s presentation to the parliamentary committee on economic and monetary affairs tomorrow.

Euro group meeting

Separately, Mr Noonan will today attend the euro group meeting of finance ministers, at which the framework for the new euro zone rescue fund, the ESM, will be discussed and a new chair appointed.

The meeting typically takes place on the eve of the Economics and Financial Affairs Council or EcoFin. Tomorrow,Mr Noonan will chair that meeting, with Minister of State at the Department of Finance Brian Hayes in the Irish chair. European Parliament committees are composed of MEPs from across the political spectrum.