Written Answers - EU Presidency

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 735 No. 2

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  80.  Deputy Dara Murphy  Information on Dara Murphy  Zoom on Dara Murphy   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade  Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore   if he will endorse the proposal made by former British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, by supporting the calls for an elected leader of the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15781/11]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  There is no formal proposal active at this time to amend the Treaties in the area of leadership of the EU. I have however noted recent media reports of an idea put forward by Mr. Tony Blair that there should be a directly-elected President of the European Union. This is certainly an interesting contribution to debate on the EU’s institutional framework and its evolution. Similar ideas received some consideration in the Constitutional Convention which eventually led to the Lisbon Treaty. A formal proposal and debate on an elected EU leader is unlikely in the immediate future. The EU is now in the process of bedding down the various reforms to the functioning of the Union brought about in the Lisbon Treaty. These included provision for the election for a two and a half year term, renewable once, of a full-time President of the European Council. President Herman van Rompuy, who will visit Ireland on 17 June, has made an excellent start as the first holder of that office.


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