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Taoiseach to attend special meeting of the European Council

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D. will travel to Brussels to attend a special meeting of the European Council today, Thursday 1st October.

The Taoiseach will hold a bilateral meeting with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and attend the Renew Europe working lunch with other EU Leaders ahead of the European Council meeting.

The European Council will discuss how to deepen and strengthen the single market as a key tool to drive Europe's economic recovery. It will also consider how to improve the competitiveness of European industry.

Leaders will discuss Europe’s relationship with China following the recent EU-China summit. There will also be a discussion on Turkey-EU relations, including the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, and Belarus.

The European Council will be briefed on the latest state of play in the Brexit negotiations which are continuing this week, and the Taoiseach will take the opportunity to share his assessment of recent developments with fellow leaders.

Speaking before his departure, the Taoiseach said,

I look forward to joining colleagues in Brussels this week. When we met in July, we agreed an unprecedented €1.8 trillion package to support Europe’s economic recovery. If we are to see the full benefit of that package, we need to maximise the potential of the Single Market, including building our collective digital capacity, economic resilience and competitiveness. This is all the more important in the context of the economic disruption of both Covid19 and Brexit. I look forward to agreeing an ambitious agenda to guide our future work.

These issues are also relevant to our discussion on China, which will include a reflection on our economic, trade and investment relationship. In addition, our collective responsibility in relation to climate action, human rights and multilateral cooperation will be addressed.

At our meeting by video conference in August, we discussed the situation in Belarus and touched on our relations with Turkey and the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean. We will return to these subjects at this meeting.