23-25 June 2013

Dublin Castle (view map)

Plenary Meeting of the XLIX COSAC, 23-25 June 2013

Topic: A forward and outward-looking Europe

NEW: View conference conclusions via COSAC website.

Parliamentary conference concludes with sessions on advancing inclusion and enlargement

Dublin, 25 June 2013:  The issues of progressing EU enlargement and advancing economic and social inclusion were discussed by 300 European parliamentarians in Dublin Castle today Tuesday 25 June. The debates formed part of the 49th plenary of COSAC, the conference of the committees from national parliaments dealing with EU Affairs as well as representatives of the European Parliament.

Oireachtas EU Affairs Committee Chairman Dominic Hannigan, who chaired the proceedings, says: “Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Joe Costello TD opened the second day of COSAC, and addressed some of the most pressing issues facing young Europeans, including steps to combat youth unemployment and promote greater social and economic inclusion. The session included valuable interventions by three young Europeans from minority backgrounds. Nevin Öztop from Turkey spoke on the alienation felt by many members of the LGBT community, Rachel Creevy outlined her perspective as a young Irish citizen with a disability while Marietta Herfort from Hungary addressed the delegates on the challenges facing the Roma community Europe-wide.

“The second debate of the day considered how best to advance EU enlargement, particularly in the Western Balkans. With Croatia joining the European Union on 1 July, it was a timely discussion.  High representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina Valentin Inzko and Erwan Fouere of the Centre for European Studies delivered provocative and insightful contributions. The conference was told that progress in Bosnia has stalled in recent years and that a new impetus was required, particularly in fostering stronger civil society. It was argued that the EU could and should be using its soft power more proactively to support reconciliation within and between countries in the Western Balkans.”

“Underpinning our discussions with our fellow parliamentarians in Dublin Castle was the motivation to foster a forward and outward looking European Union. Today’s debates conclude a vibrant and productive parliamentary dimension of Ireland’s EU Presidency, which included eight meetings over the past six months. Each of the meetings reflected the indispensable role that national parliamentarians have to play making a meaningful and practical contribution to policymaking in an evolving European Union.”

View conclusions via COSAC website, photos via Oireachtas Flickr feed and a web recording via this Youtube playlist.