23rd Mar 2018


Irish EU presidency starts work this WEEK

Ireland takes over the EU presidency this week, amid promises to help restore growth to the European economy.

It marked the event with a modest EU balloon-flying and flag-raising ceremony in Dublin castle on New Year's eve.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Irish leader Enda Kenny at the Dublin ceremony last week (Photo:

On Monday (7 January), it will also switch on its "Skylum" - an artwork in the EU Council building in Brussels in the form of an inflatable bubble, which changes colour and makes sounds when people walk under it and which aims to symbolise a marriage of new technology and traditional crafts.

Its foreign ministry on New Year's eve said: "The year 2013 will usher in a new phase in the European Union's drive for recovery."

Its foreign minister Eamon Gilmore in the Irish Times the same day noted that despite Ireland's bailout haedships, its EU membership has over the past 40 years transformed it from a rural backwater to one of the wealthiest societies in Europe.

He added that Ireland will try to get young people back to work with a new "youth guarantee scheme," to clinch an EU-US free trade deal and to help online firms and small businesses to prosper in the single market.

Top EU officials and most commissioners will visit Dublin on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In line with the Irish theme, the European Commission will on Tuesday publish a review of EU social welfare standards and on Wednesday propose measures to help entrepreneurs launch new businesses.

The commission will on Wednesday also unveil its European Cyber Crime Centre.

The unit, based in the EU joint police body, Europol, in The Hague, will target online organised crime, including child pornography.

For their part, MEPs on the budget control committee will on Thursday question EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton on how she spent EU funds while starting up the foreign service in 2011.

Deputies on the civil liberties committee will the same day vote whether to let member states temporarily suspend visa-free deals with non-EU-countries if there is a sudden leap upward in migration.

Outside Brussels, Greek leader Antonis Samaras will on Tuesday visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin for an "informal exchange of views," as Athens tries to keep EU bailout money flowing.

And the European Central Bank in Frankfurt on Thursday will consider lowering eurozone interest rates to help households and businesses get back to borrowing and spending.

EU budget diplomacy to mark Irish presidency

Exactly 40 years after it joined the EU, Ireland will take on the day-to-day running of the EU including overseeing the almost 70 laws needed to get the currently-disputed longterm budget up and running.

Brexit and trade will top This WEEK

A crucial EU summit will decide whether to give a green light to the Brexit transition period, while the EU is also fighting to get exemptions from the new US steel and aluminium tariffs.

'Selmayrgate' moves to the EU Parliament This WEEK

As a global trade war looms over the new US steel tariffs, the EU's attention will shift to Strasbourg - where MEPs are expected to debate the Martin Selmayr appointment, trade, Brexit, journalism and the budget.

Germany casts doubt on Austrian intelligence sharing

An Austrian police unit headed by a far-right town councilor and tasked to tackle street crime was sent to raid the offices and homes of people working for Austria's domestic intelligence agency - prompting German counterparts to review cooperation.

News in Brief

  1. EU will be exempted from tariffs, says US minister
  2. Malmstroem: EU 'hopes' for US tariffs exemption
  3. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says
  4. Italy's centre-right set to share top posts with 5-star movement
  5. Brussels condemns tear gas in Kosovo parliament
  6. Finland pays billionaire €400,000 in EU farm subsidies
  7. 44 leaders sign up for Africa free trade area deal
  8. British 'blue' passports to be made in EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. EU summit takes hard look at Russia
  2. Germany casts doubt on Austrian intelligence sharing
  3. EU leaders set for 'stormy debate' on digital tax at summit
  4. EU praises Turkey on migrant deal despite Greek misery
  5. Judicial reforms 'restore balance', Poland tells EU
  6. Whistleblower fears for life as US arrests Malta bank chair
  7. Behind the scenes at Monday's EU talks on Russia
  8. US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions