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Message from IIEA Director General: IIEA Events Move Online

By 28th July 2020December 18th, 2020No Comments

Covid-19 has been a challenging and worrying time for everyone and caused so many changes in the way we live and work.

Throughout this time, the IIEA has sought to continue sharing ideas and shaping policy, albeit in a very different way. We have not been able to host events at North Great George’s Street but through our webinar series, which we began last April, we have nonetheless brought you a full speaker programme maintaining the high standards and quality that are expected of us.

Indeed, moving our events online has increased attendance, and also expanded our audience outside of Ireland. This year, some 14,000 participants joined IIEA webinars from over 42 countries. We greatly welcome this huge expansion in awareness of the IIEA and the work that we do. Our team has worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth operation of our online presence and I would like to thank them for all they have done over these months to keep us connected and to bring the Institute to you through this medium. At the same time, our research team continued to produce a wide range of publications, briefings and blogs on the pressing challenges and policy trends facing Ireland and the EU.

We’ve put together a two-part playlist (Part 1 and Part 2) highlighting the key discussions of the year, beginning with our Party Leaders Series during the General Election campaign, how governments got to grips with Covid-19, the wider EU response to the pandemic, the ongoing future EU-UK negotiations, the German EU Presidency and the US Presidential election, to name a few. I know that we all need a break over the holidays, but perhaps some may wish to listen back and reflect on the extraordinary year that is now coming to an end.

And as the year closes, it would be remiss of me not to mention our founder and President, Brendan Halligan, who died this August. Brendan’s legacy in the Institute lives on. He was an irreplaceable Irishman and European, who recognised the need for an independent think tank debating key European and international issues. Next year we will commemorate him as we celebrate 30 years since the IIEA was founded. But at this time, we are most of all mindful of his family and many friends who miss Brendan and are saddened by his loss.

We look forward to welcoming you back in January when we will consider whatever outcome emerges from the ongoing EU-UK negotiations and many other current issues. Covid-19 will still be with us, unfortunately, and I know that there will, therefore, be particular interest in the timely discussion that we will host with Emer Cooke, Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency, on Friday, 15 January.

Very best wishes to you and your family for a restful, happy and safe festive season.
Kind regards and many thanks for your continued support.


Dear friends and members,

Much has changed in the months since the COVID-19 pandemic first had an impact on Ireland, and across the world. Our premises at North Great George’s Street has been closed since March, and our team have been working remotely. We successfully moved our events programme online, which has allowed us to continue sharing analysis and insights of the international and European policy issues that matter to you, our members, and to the wider public. There has been much to discuss and analyse from Europe’s response to COVID-19, the global impact fo the pandemic, the continuing negotiations on the future EU-UK negotiations, to Ireland’s successful UNSC campaign.

Now, as the country re-opens gradually, we have decided to continue hosting our events online for the time being. As an international affairs think tank our speakers often travel to Dublin for a short visit in order to address the IIEA. For the foreseeable future this will not be practical, or indeed possible. Equally, bringing a group of people together as a physical audience would not be wise at this time. Webinars have the great advantage of enabling us to link in with speakers wherever they are in the world and to have as broad an audience as possible, with no physical distancing or capacity limits.

Nonetheless online events have their own limitations. The same level of engagement, interrogation and discussion of ideas that comes from an in-person event cannot be replicated in the same way online. We greatly miss meeting you all regularly in North Great George’s Street and we hope the day that we are able to welcome you back is not too far away.

Our events programme will take a break in August to allow for some rest and reflection. We will look forward to you joining us from September for our Autumn season of events, beginning on Wednesday 2 September when we will host Michel Barnier, EU Chief Negotiator.

For now, let me wish you good health and a pleasant summer.


Michael Collins
Director General



March 2020

Dear Friends and Members,

As the COVID 19 crisis unfolds, we at the IIEA are determined to continue our mission to share ideas and shape policy, while taking into account the unprecedented situation we are all now faced with.

We are delighted to announce that we are moving our events online in webinar format so that we can continue to provide our members with the policy insights, analysis and context that helps shape decision-making.  In this way we hope to ensure our members benefit from the insights and analysis of thought-leaders and decision-makers from across the European Union and around the world.

As policymakers, business leaders and decision-makers in Ireland, Europe and the world, navigate unchartered waters it is essential that decisions are informed by policy expertise and a clear understanding of the challenges ahead. Through our new offering of online events we will endeavour to continue to provide you with the insights and analysis which have always been a hallmark of the IIEA.

These events will be publicised in the same manner as previous IIEA events: in emails to our members, on our website and on our social media channels. We look forward to seeing you at an IIEA webinar soon!

Many thanks for your understanding and continued support,

Best regards,

Michael Collins

Director General