Ireland’s voice in Europe


Sir, – Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne (Letters, September 14th) happily mentions all the positions held by Irish nationals in EU institutions.

But those jobs come at the cost of EU taxes (and EU tax-like regulations). Whether those Irish-held positions are a net benefit to Ireland depends on a series of trade-offs? Jobs or no jobs: Ireland is a net payor into EU coffers. That has been true for some time, and it is likely to remain true many years into the future.

Byrne supposes that because Ireland holds key public positions that means Ireland has a real voice. But if that were the situation, he should point to examples where Ireland’s voice and vote in EU institutions led to EU policies which the elected Irish government supports or, at least, where Ireland’s voice and vote successfully blocked the implementation of EU policies opposed by the elected Irish government.

A voice only matters if it facilitates actual influence.

The question which one must ask: Where does EU policy reflect Irish interests?

– Yours, etc,


Department of Law ,

Maynooth University.