Busy start to 2013 as Ireland takes over EU Presidency
Ireland took over the rotating EU Presidency on 1 January 2013 and will face a number of complicated dossiers during its time in the hot seat – not least the need to reach an agreement on the next EU budget or MFF.
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, along with the rest of the College of Commissioners, was in Dublin last week to meet with the key Irish ministers who will manage the work of the Presidency. Among them is Lucinda Creighton, minister responsible for European affairs, who will chair the monthly General Affairs Council, which V-P Šefčovič attends on behalf of the Commission.
"This is already the seventh time that Ireland has held the EU Presidency," said V-P Šefčovič. "The experience it brings will be a clear asset, especially as the focus will have to be on important issues such as MFF, tackling youth unemployment, the single market, the new banking union and a proposed free trade deal with the US."
"It's important that 2013 be the year of economic recovery, that we move towards greater economic and monetary union and restore confidence in EU decision making. Having had the opportunity to talk to my Irish colleagues in Dublin, I'm confident that they are both well-prepared and highly motivated in this regard!"
The Irish Presidency programme will also be discussed in Strasbourg on Wednesday at the European Parliament Plenary session, during V-P Šefčovič will also take the floor.