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Written Answers - Departmental Staff

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 190.  Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  the number of civil servants from his Department who are based in the European Commission working in the relevant permanent representative offices; their titles and functions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3822/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan My Department has two civil servants working in the offices of the Irish Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels, an Environment Counsellor (Principal Officer level post) and an Environment Attaché (Assistant Principal Officer level post). The staff are seconded to the Department of Foreign Affairs for the duration of their assignment. Their functions include:

Managing the overall work programme of the Environment Unit in the Permanent Representation;

[368] Servicing the meetings of the Environment Working Group and other Council groups in the environment area and arranging attendance, where appropriate, by Department officials at such meetings;

Preparing briefing on national positions for COREPER meetings and providing necessary briefing and support throughout co-decision procedures with the European Parliament;

Briefing and assisting Ministers at meetings of the Council of Environment Ministers;

Servicing, as necessary, meetings convened by the Commission;

Maintaining an overall view of developments at EU level on matters of concern to the Department, assessing the significance of the various matters and transmitting information and reports to the Department in regard to them;

Advising and assisting in the assessment of Commission proposals and in the development of negotiating positions in relation to them;

Developing contact and liaising with the European Parliament and its Environment Committee in the context of ongoing negotiations;

Enhancing contact and liaison with the Commission and within the Permanent Representation, as appropriate, in relation to matters relevant to any of the Department’s functions,

Co-ordinating the preparation of briefing material, as required, for Irish MEPs.

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