Taoiseach attending European Council meeting in Brussels
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets EU Council President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels ahead of the meeting today
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is attending the European Council meeting which takes place in Brussels today and tomorrow.
He will hold bilateral meetings with key figures including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, and the Prime Minister of Estonia, Juri Ratas, who leads the incoming Presidency.
Watch the Taoiseach's doorstep on arrival below:
He will also meet with colleagues from across the European Union.
The Taoiseach will raise key issues including Brexit, Economy & Trade, Security issues, and the Paris Climate Agreement. He will appraise colleagues of his meeting last Monday with the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, and stress his commitment to keeping Ireland at the centre of the Union.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets EU Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels today
Priority issues for the two days include:
- Brexit – An Taoiseach will thank partners for their support in making sure that Irish issues are prioritised in the negotiations. He will emphasise the need for early progress in phase one so that discussions can move to the second phase where the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be considered. He will also offer his assessment on developments in the UK and Northern Ireland.
- Economy & Trade – An Taoiseach will stress the need to maintain the EU’s commitment to free and open trade, and particularly job creation.
- Security – An Taoiseach will offer Ireland’s solidarity to EU Member States that have been victims of terror attacks. He will pledge ongoing commitment to combating online radicalisation and the disruption of finances, and will stress that IT companies must also play a role in combating extremism.
- Paris Agreement – An Taoiseach wants this Government to be more ambitious on climate change and will strongly support others in calling for full implementation of the Paris Agreement, despite the US position.