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Simon Coveney T. Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Tuesday, 28 November When I checked the diary recently, I thought Tuesday, 28 November, would be a nice politically quiet date on which to share with you my thoughts on Europe. And the audience here tonight — and the interest in this topic — is a really encouraging al. But tonight, I would like to go back to another date - - when we submitted our first application at the same time that the UK submitted theirs.
Brussels acknowledged our application; but gave no word on when negotiations might begin. The founding six were talking to the UK but no-one spoke to us. Few in Brussels thought Ireland was sufficiently developed. Some did not take the application seriously. Hardly anyone expected a separate Irish application. When President de Gaulle long-fingered the British application, ours fell too and it was over a decade before we subsequently ed.
The EU has set out its position on Brexit. There is a strong acknowledgment of Ireland's unique concerns and priorities, including protecting the Good Friday Agreement and the gains of the peace process, avoiding a hard border and maintaining the Common Travel Area with Britain. Brexit is important in most other countries but it is not always at the top of their agendas. Or that the Foreign Ministers of Luxembourg, Denmark and Finland would be familiar with places like Jonesborough or the Concession Road from Monaghan to Cullaville because they too wanted to visit those most affected by Brexit?
It refutes the claim that we will have no friends after Brexit.
We have longstanding alliances with a variety of likeminded countries on issues ranging from agriculture to taxation and the digital single market to human rights advocacy. We have strengthened our presence in Brussels, Paris, Berlin and London and I will be adding staff in other capitals, as we double our diplomatic footprint in the medium term. But the solidarity we are witnessing also puts to bed an even bigger lie. People say that each time we pool more of our sovereignty, we lose some of that sovereignty. But what was there to lose? In we could argue that we were fully sovereign.
But the truth is that we were remote, inificant on international issues and not taken seriously by those who noticed us, if they noticed us at all. Today, by contrast we benefit from the solidarity and generosity of the other Member States.
Our sovereignty is stronger now than it was at any time before we ed the European Union. We are stronger at the heart of Europe. The sovereignty issue is important, as polling in the UK suggests that this was the biggest issue for people who voted in the referendum there; bigger, for example, than migration. I am not arguing tonight for a United States of Europe. The Europe I believe Ireland wants is a Union of sovereign Member States, working together to tackle the big issues of the day. Pooling sovereignty when it makes sense to do so.
There is only one city in the EU that features in the top 30 cities globally — and not for much longer either. This is why we need to stick together. The European Union is the best instrument we have for addressing our new challenges. We have to ensure it has the capacity to play a key role in the world, shaping globalisation, tackling climate change and facing down international terrorism. And aspiring to be the global diplomatic superpower promoting peace and security. Ireland alone has 11 directly elected Members of the European Parliament. Irish Ministers, myself included, attend 10 different formations of the Council of Ministers each month, handling issues as disparate as foreign affairs, education and transport.
The Taoiseach participates in at least four meetings of the European Council every year. There are another Irish nationals working inside the Commission, the Parliament and the Council. Indeed, I am delighted that, perhaps our most eminent Irish official ever to serve in Europe, Catherine Day, is with us here this evening. I can think of no piece of European legislation that has not, in the making, passed through the hands and scrutiny of an Irish Commissioner, Irish Ministers, Irish parliamentarians and Irish officials.
The European Union is not perfect. That is why the process to focus on the Future of Europe is so important: to de an improved future. The language and appearances of emancipation exist but the EU seems unable to create the background conditions to make it real. It would be wrong to ignore the sense of disconnect between citizens, on the one hand, Russian or Jonesboro eu woman wanted institutions and processes, on the other.
Despite efforts such as the Blue Star Programme, an initiative that tries to foster a better understanding of Europe in primary schools, there is still a feeling that the European Union is remote, on the one hand, and interfering, on the other.
This is why the Government has launched its Future of Europe initiative. A of ideas have been put forward to reform the institutions. One idea is that the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council could be one and the same person.
I am not convinced that this would bring the institutions closer to citizens. However, we should have an open mind about ideas like transnational lists of candidates for European Parliament elections, if this helps bring Europe and citizens closer to one another. Throughout its history the European Union has never stood still. It began as a peace project, focused on neutralising the instruments of war. It became a common market.
When it found its international voice it gave itself a common foreign and security policy. In the 80s and 90s, it set itself a goal of completing the internal market. Then, the single currency was adopted because currency fluctuations threatened the operation of the internal market.
Standing still is never smart and, in the face of Brexit, standing still is not a viable option at all — particularly for Ireland. The axe will not, of course, fall in just one area but this gives us a sense of scale. The European Union makes progress on the basis of classic policy research — leaders and officials addressing issues and finding solutions.
Sometimes it has been driven into making breakthroughs in the heat of a crisis. But it has been at its best when it has been carried forward by men and women with a grand vision, big ambitions and even bigger ideas. Membership has been central to the transformation of our economy.
As a trading nation we depend on international rules which permit the free flow of goods, services and capital. The most important of these are the rules governing the EU's single market.
Since the financial crisis, the focus has been on the steps needed to complete economic and monetary union. Now is not the moment to get lost in technical detail, except to say that we need to complete the banking union. If the single currency is to function as it should, it must be as safe to deposit funds in an Irish bank as it is to do so in, say, a German bank. We cannot witness again a retreat of cash from so-called peripheral countries to so-called core countries.
Equally, in an age of high debt and low investment, we must complete the capital markets union. A capital markets union would allow businesses in Europe access to other lines of finance, boosting investment and creating jobs. Completing the banking union and the capital markets union are priorities right now. But the historical reality is that imbalances can build up in currency areas and can give rise to vulnerabilities whenever asymmetric shocks occur. In the longer term perspective we need to be ready to engage in further reforms of the single currency to enhance democratic ability and the governance of economic and monetary union.
The German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, proposed economic and monetary union as early as When European leaders finally asked Jacques Delors to develop a new plan for economic and monetary union inthis was part of a wider effort at completing the single market.
Currency movements were disrupting the operation of the market and exchange rate variability was complicating the administration of payments under the Common Agricultural Policy. But 60 years on, the priorities laid out in the Treaty Russian or Jonesboro eu woman wanted Rome are still far from fulfilled. We have made great progress in opening up the internal market in trade in goods, but not in services.
Back in Mario Monti advised the European Commission that deepening the internal market would be a critical part of Europe's response to the crisis. So the first new idea - to complete the internal market, especially the internal market in services - is not a new idea at all. In Ireland the services sector employs just over half of our workforce and s for more than half of our exports. As an island nation we never have enough demand Russian or Jonesboro eu woman wanted the domestic market for our own goods and services.
So we export most of our production. In losing the UK, the European Union is about to lose a Member State that was one of the biggest supporters of the internal market. As a consequence, Irish exporters will have to engage seriously in market diversification and we will have to advocate all the more vocally for completing the internal market in services.
The Jacques Delors Institute has argued that sheltering service sectors from competition hampers the proper functioning of the single market, perpetuating the disruptions that the single currency was meant to ease. Protectionism does not protect. But it can be deeply embedded. That was the past. In the future, participation in the workforce will depend less on where people live and more on the speed of their internet connection. In recognition of this, the European Union has set itself a realistic target of completing the Digital Single Market by the end of next year.
But we must go further. So tonight, a full 60 years after the Treaty of Rome, I am calling for an ambitious target to complete the internal market in services by This would honour a commitment originally made in At a time when we are urging the UK to stay in the single market, I am simply asking that we complete it. In shining a light on the protectionists, we will boost jobs and growth in Ireland and across the Union as a whole. In the s efforts to complete the internal market in goods coincided with a period of unprecedented growth. Putting the same effort into completing the market in services will give Europe the momentum it needs.
A more competitive and efficient professional services sector would help industrial competitiveness and the European economy as a whole.
Competition in financial services, leading to cheaper mortgages and cheaper insurance, would enjoy the support of Irish consumers. Of course, the internal market is not the only market. Ireland is an enthusiastic supporter of efforts to open up new markets to European exporters. I spent Friday at the Eastern Partnership Summit working with our neighbours - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine — to develop stronger, diversified and vibrant economies across the region.
A new European trade deal with Canada has just come into effect on a provisional basis. This is partly why I am opening a new Consulate in Vancouver. Our decision to open a new Embassy in New Zealand is a measure of our commitment to this trade agenda. But we are not naive. We will expect reciprocity in the give and take of EU trade negotiations and you can be assured that we will insist on the highest social, environmental, data protection and food safety standards in each of these deals.
This is what makes the European Union different. Lately, we have witnessed a retreat from values-based diplomacy among certain superpowers. An ugly, protectionist, transactional approach to international relations is emerging. Left unchallenged it will Russian or Jonesboro eu woman wanted quick bucks for the elite but long-term devastating consequences for the masses. The European Union needs to find its voice. But many around the world are straining to hear it. It has to be able to speak truth to power - louder. Let's be very clear. We cannot tweet our way through the problems that face us.
When I spoke at the UN General Assembly in New York in September, I said that, with Ireland, you know what you get — a small State with big thinking, a country that listens, and a strong independent voice that promotes values and inspires. The European Union is a Union of medium-to-small-sized countries, like Ireland, and we have a shared European interest in facing the world together.Russian or Jonesboro eu woman wanted
email: [email protected] - phone:(544) 915-6236 x 9638
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