Herman Van Rompuy, President emeritus of the European Council, former Prime Minister of Belgium
First Annual Brendan Halligan Lecture
In June, Herman van Rompuy, President emeritus of the European Council and former Prime Minister of Belgium, delivered the inaugural Annual Brendan Halligan Lecture. Van Rompuy addressed whether there was a future for Europe. He pointed out that with the eurozone and refugee crises, Brexit and populist threats, the demise of the EU was forecasted by many. In his view, the European idea is more resilient than many expected. He emphasised however that we have to work hard to reconcile the citizens with national and European politics. He remained optimistic for the future but warned that collectively a nation or a union can make dramatic mistakes, with consequences they do not expect or can foresee. There is a window of opportunity created by the latest challenges in the EU and he urged that this fully be used to the advantage of the EU. The event was followed by a reception co-hosted by the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU.
Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU