Thursday

25th May 2017

Irish EU presidency outlines post-crisis agenda

  • The Irish presidency motto is "stability, jobs and growth" (Photo: Guimo)

The incoming Irish EU presidency says it will focus on jobs and growth in the next six months, echoing claims the sovereign debt part of the euro crisis has ended.

Foreign minister Eamon Gilmore told press in Brussels on Monday (17 December) there is still work to do on the banking union agreed by EU leaders last week as a long-term measure to quell market fears.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He said Ireland will help draft plans for a pan-EU deposit guarantee scheme and failed bank wind-up rules as the "key to moving to the next phase - allowing the European Stability Mechanism [the Luxembourg-based bailout fund] to directly recapitalise banks."

But he noted that Ireland's main objectives - and its EU presidency motto - will be "stability, jobs and growth."

Its push to get the European economy back on its feet envisages agreement on the EU budget for 2014 to 2020 "early in the New Year" to enable "fit for purpose" spending on, for instance, aid to rural regions.

Ireland will work to clinch an EU-US free trade deal, which Dublin believes can contribute 2 percent growth to EU GDP.

It will promote a directive on pan-EU recognition of professional qualifications to help job-seekers move around. It will also try to help small businesses get access to credit and to "overhaul" EU data protection rules to make life easier for online companies.

Striking an optimistic note, Gilmore said: "We aim to be the first country to emerge from an EU-IMF [International Monetary Fund] programme."

He added that upcoming elections in Germany and Italy should not hold things back. "I don't expect that elections in Italy will delay the MFF [the multi-annual financial framework, or 2014 to 2020 EU budget]," he said.

His EU affairs minister, Lucinda Creighton, noted: "For the past 18 months, whenever something complex comes on the agenda we hear the refrain: 'No decision can be expected because of elections here or there.' But in fact decision-making has not been put on hold."

The Irish tone echoes recent remarks by some EU leaders.

"That period is over ... We did a lot of good work this year and that allows us to be confident for 2013," French President Francois Hollande said in Brussels last Thursday, referring to sovereign debt fears.

Meanwhile, Ireland outlined more modest priorities for EU foreign policy.

Creighton said it will try to get EU accession talks started with Macedonia and Serbia and to get agreement on signing a pre-accession pact with quasi-state Kosovo.

Gilmore noted he will also look to expand EU humanitarian aid programmes.

He said nothing on two of the biggest crises in the EU neighbourhood - the Arab-Israeli conflict and Syria.

With Israel piling on thousands of new settler homes in Palestine - it announced a further 1,500 homes in East Jerusalem on Monday - Dublin has no plans to push for punitive measures.

An Irish government spokeswoman told EUobserver last month that "Ireland would support a ban on the import of goods from Israeli settlements."

But she noted: "There is no consensus on this issue at EU level and no prospect of reaching agreement on this issue in the near term." She added that under the Lisbon Treaty: "The foreign council agenda is set by the EU [foreign policy chief] Catherine Ashton."

Israeli leader mocks EU 'dismay'

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu has mocked EU "dismay" over his plan to split Palestine in three and take away its capital.

News in Brief

  1. Pressure grows on climate impact of EU timber harvesting
  2. US goes after Fiat Chrysler over emissions cheat
  3. Munich police break up Europe-wide burglar clan
  4. Report: VW threatened with €19.7 billion French fine
  5. Turkey begins mass trial of suspected coup leaders
  6. Merkel's CDU consolidates lead in polls
  7. France to host Russian president
  8. Switzerland votes against nuclear power

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms

Latest News

  1. Openness over Brexit is 'political play', says EU ombudsman
  2. Le Pen's EU group in fresh spending scandal
  3. New EU right to data portability to cause headaches
  4. Cyber threats are inevitable, paralyzing impact is not
  5. Transparency complaints keep EU Ombudsman busy
  6. EU sets out criteria for relocating UK agencies
  7. EU states back bill against online hate speech
  8. Dutch coalition talks collapse again