Houses of the Oireachtas hosts European Parliament leaders

ConferencerevisedEuropean Parliament leaders were welcomed to Leinster House on 30 November 2012  for discussions on the parliamentary dimension of Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which commences on 1 January.

The engagement formed part of a two day visit to Ireland by President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and the chairpersons of the Parliament’s political groups. The Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil Seán Barrett TD, Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Senator Paddy Burke and Oireachtas Committee Chairs introduced the delegation, known as the Conference of Presidents, to the priorities of the parliamentary dimension which will comprise eight high-profile meetings during the six months.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett says: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament to Leinster House this morning. I believe that such engagement is critical to ensuring a successful Presidency because the European Parliament is now an indispensable partner for the Council and therefore for each member state hosting the Presidency.”

“Ireland’s EU Presidency comes at the 40th anniversary of our accession to the then EEC. Since then the parliamentary element of each EU Presidency term has been significantly strengthened. Recent developments, in particular in response to the unprecedented financial crisis, have demonstrated the need to continuously make the case for the role of parliaments in the EU. In setting the agendas for the eight meetings of the parliamentary dimension we have endeavoured to focus on addressing the greatest challenges facing the European Union.”

Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Senator Paddy Burke says: “Ireland holds a strong reputation for delivering successful EU presidencies and solid leadership is an imperative during this defining period for the European Union. During the next six months, Oireachtas Members will engage with European parliamentarians on the concrete and practical ways of working together for the citizens we serve.  This morning’s insightful discussions were a significant step in that process, as we finalise plans for what we hope will be an energetic, focussed and effective parliamentary dimension for the European Union.”

Access photos.

More photos of the visit available from Maxwells: or 01 830 8072

For further information please contact:
Paul Hand,
Houses of the Oireachtas,
Communications Unit,
Leinster House,
Dublin 2
P: +353 1 618 4484
M: +353  87 694 9926