MEPs outline their hopes for Irish EU Presidency

Stability, jobs and growth will be Ireland’s priorities while in charge of the Council presidency over the next six months. Irish MEPs say what they hope the presidency will achieve.

Stability, jobs and growth will be Ireland’s priorities while in charge of the Council presidency over the next six months. Irish MEPs say what they hope the presidency will achieve.

Pat the Cope Gallagher (ALDE): “Ireland will take over the presidency of the Council for the seventh time, coinciding with the 40th anniversary ofIreland’s accession to the EEC.Ireland will face many challenges during the next six months but in particular, I am hopeful that the Irish Presidency working jointly with the European Parliament will make significant progress with the reform of the Common Fisheries Polic.”y

Marian Harkin (ALDE): “There are great expectations of the Irish presidency, much detailed and time-consuming work ahead on many legislative dossiers ranging from CAP reform to the Social Fund, and also huge demands on our representatives’ negotiating and consensus-building skills to pull together the necessary agreements.”

Jim Higgins (EPP): “The Irish Presidency is an excellent opportunity to show case all thatIreland has to offer and to ensure that people know that Ireland is open for business. The Presidency will focus on a very broad range of issues, priorities of particular importance to me are tackling youth unemployment, the CFP and the CAP.”

Liam Aylward (ALDE): “Unemployment in the Europeansay Union and youth unemployment, in particular, is currently at chronic levels and is the biggest challenge we face. The Irish presidency must prioritise European citizens who need support and investment to ensure that this generation and the next can find meaningful employment and realise their full potential.”

Nessa Childers (S&D): “Hopefully the Irish will run a highly competent and efficient presidency. There are many important issues on the agenda, and I look forward to working with my Irish colleagues on the tobacco directive and the financial transaction tax in particular.”

Emer Costello (S&D): “Adoption by Council of the Recommendation for a Youth Guarantee, recently launched by the European Commission, coupled with progress towards ratification of the ILO Convention of Domestic Workers, would ensure Ireland a progressive, action-orientated six-month Presidency.”

Brian Crowley (ALDE): “We now have the opportunity to set the agenda for the future of agriculture and economic development.”

Seán Kelly (EPP): “As ITRE Rapporteur on the General Data Protection Regulation, I am glad that the Irish Presidency has this issue as a priority and therefore my hope is to see real progress during the first six months of 2013.”

Mairead McGuinness (EPP): “My abiding wish for the Irish presidency is that it will successfully conclude agreements on vital policy areas for the 2014-2020 period and that it will rebuild that all important sense of solidarity between our 27 member states of the EU, which has been eroded since the crisis.”

Gay Mitchell (EPP): “We need to change the language, words matter: recovery must replace austerity. Hope, jobs , a brighter future looms, the medicine may be bitter but its sole objective is help the patient recover.”

Paul Murphy (Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left): “I hope that the Irish EU presidency can focus international attention on how austerity policies, such as those implemented inIreland, do not work for ordinary people and the economy as a whole. The holding of the presidency also gives workers and the unemployed inIreland a focal point to show their opposition to these policies.”

Phil Prendergast (S&D): “Our Presidency will prioritize issues that not only affectIreland, but also have a wider European dimension. There is a high expectation that subjects like growth and job creation, protecting the EU budget, getting agreement on banking union and a financial transaction tax, and the resolution of concerns about unsustainable debt levels, will be brought to the forefront of the European political agenda during the Presidency. I am confidant that we can achieve a lot during this period, and I look forward to playing my part, together will all my colleagues, in fighting for progressive change acrossEurope over the next six months.”