Download the audio podcast of the keynote speech here.
About the Event:
]]> On Tuesday 17 January 2012, Minister for Europe, Lucinda Creighton addressed the Young Professionals’ Network at the IIEA on Ireland in Europe.
Since the General Election of February 2011, Minister Creighton said that she and her government colleagues have worked to forge strong relationships with Ireland’s European partners and restore Ireland’s standard as a respected and influential member within the EU. Almost a year on, Minister Creighton addressed some of the issues that she has been working on, in the EU division in the Department of the Taoiseach.
Ireland will hold the rotating presidency of the European Council during the first half of 2013, during which Ireland will also celebrate 40 years since its accession to the EU. Minister Creighton expressed her hope that the Presidency will contribute to the renewal of the European project, focusing on growth, jobs and prosperity. This is particularly important, she pointed out, because while the rationale behind the European concept was clear for our parents and grandparents, the concept has lost a lot of its appeal and ability to engage on a political level. Minister Creighton said that there is a broader task to be addressed, beyond economic policy – Europe needs to step up to the challenge of a multi-polar world, working together as 27 nations to maintain a place in the global order.
The Minister noted that although Ireland has a proud record of representation in top-level jobs in the EU institutions, there are insufficient numbers of officials of Irish nationality in more junior roles. An increase of high-quality candidates from Ireland entering the EU institutions would be beneficial for the EU and also for Ireland. With that in mind, the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs is launching a number of initiatives to encourage Irish candidates to apply for EU-level career opportunities, with a particular focus on improved foreign language skills among candidates. To encourage this participation among Irish candidates, Minister Creighton will next month launch a campaign called “The EU Needs You.”
Please note that this event is only open to members of the Young Professionals’ Network (YPN)
About the Speaker:
Lucinda Creighton was appointed Minister of State for European Affairs in March 2011. She was first elected to the Dáil in 2007 and was returned in the General Election in 2011. A qualified barrister, she was elected to Dublin City Council in 2004 and served as Fine Gael spokesperson on European Affairs for 2007-2010.
Minister Creighton campaigned for a yes vote in the Nice and Lisbon referendums, served on the board of the Young European Christian Democrats, served on an advisory committee to the Department of Education for the Irish Presidency of the EU in 2004, and represented Ireland at the Youth Convention on the Future of Europe in Brussels.