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European Affairs

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Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore)

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Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore)

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Eamon Gilmore

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Snippet Contents:

European Movement Ireland aims to promote public discussion and debate about developments in the European Union including through the publication and dissemination of information materials, such as its annual Accountability Report. I welcome this report, now in its third year, by which EMI aims to track Ireland’s engagement with Europe through a series of statistical indicators. These indicators range from measuring Irish input at the pre-legislative stage of EU policy formation, European Parliament and Oireachtas engagement, to the stage of final decision-making at the Council of the European Union. This year's report also includes a chapter on the Stability Treaty Referendum. I note a number of welcome developments over the past year. There was a significant increase in Ministerial attendance at Council meetings and in 2012 average Irish ministerial attendance at Council stood at 97%. There has been a large increase also in the number of pre-Council briefings of Oireachtas Committees. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs met a total of 36 times during 2012. Inevitably, a report of this nature places a particular focus on recording quantifiable outputs but I hope these will inform a rigorous and qualitative assessment of Ireland's engagement with the European Union and to identify areas for improvement. I see the value of this report not just in the statistical information provided but more generally in contributing to better public understanding and oversight of EU matters.