Minister Byrne to join Informal Meeting of Ministers for European Affairs
The Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, T.D., will exchange views with his counterparts on EU-UK relations, at a videoconference meeting of Ministers for European Affairs today.
Ministers will also prepare for the European Council meeting on 25-26 February. At that meeting, leaders will discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, EU preparedness for health threats, European security and defence as well as EU relations with the Southern Neighbourhood. Ministers will have an exchange of views on the European Democracy Action Plan and receive an update on the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister Byrne said:
“The exchange on EU-UK relations will be a useful opportunity to take stock of recent developments with our EU colleagues. The full and effective implementation of both the Protocol and the Trade & Cooperation Agreement are vital for the island of Ireland and will remain a major focus for the Government in the months ahead.”
Minister Byrne also said:
“We have faced many challenges over the past year, not least in dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. I am looking forward to the Presidency update on the Conference on the Future of Europe. As national vaccination programmes roll out, we can begin to contemplate more fully our recovery. The Conference will be a valuable forum to consider how we will address the challenges that we face. It will be vital that any new policies and strategies reflect the needs and concerns of our citizens.
Like so many times in the past, the EU’s future will be determined by the strength of its recovery from this crisis. I am confident that the EU and its Member States will work together to achieve a successful recovery”.