He said: "European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has made a commitment to assist Northern Ireland to maximise the benefit it gains from its membership of the European Union."
"The desire to benefit fully from EU membership was reinvigorated both by the Executive and the Commission at the end of last year and work is now continuing with added vigour."
"We need to ensure that the process of engagement is inclusive and tap into the many resources of information and leadership which exist throughout this community."
"Northern Ireland has to depend on its own talent and initiative to maximise its return from EU membership. President Barroso guaranteed that the Commission would assist as much as possible in this process and the success of his initiative will be when we no longer need any special help from the Commission to engage successfully with the EU."
Europe Day is celebrated annually on 9th May and marks the first move towards the establishment of what is known today as the European Union. It was on 9th May, 1950 that the French Foreign Minister Robert Schumann called on European countries to work together for the common good. Europe Day is now an annual celebration of the achievements of the European Union.