21. 6. 2013 11:35

European Cup of Tea with Irish Flavour

The Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union is almost over and the time has come to evaluate its achievements. In this context, the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Embassy of Ireland organized a traditional European Cup of Tea – this time with Irish flavour. The event took place on June 20, 2013 in the European House, Prague and the opening speech was given by H. E. Alison Kelly, Ambassador of Ireland to the Czech Republic. Her presentation was followed by contributions by Marek Souček from the European Policies Coordination Department, Office of the Government of the Czech Republic and Alexander Tomský, political scientist and publicist.

Despite the fact that neither the political nor the economic situation in the EU were ideal at the beginning of this year, the majority of the speakers agreed that Ireland has succeeded in dealing with these complicated initial conditions and its presidency has achieved several remarkable outcomes. These are for instance an agreement about the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the adoption of the two-pack which will strengthen the fiscal discipline of the Member States, investment into youth employment, progress in negotiating reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy or completion of Croatia’s accession negotiations. Digital agenda was also one of the key policy areas – especially due to its implications for the youth. In this context, H. E. Alison Kelly even spoke of a „digital presidency“.

According to Marek Souček, the greatest achievement of the Presidency were especially the so far successful negotiations of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014–2020. In fact, Ireland contributed to both a compromise agreement between the Member States in the Council and to a substantial progress in the negotiations with the European Parliament. In this context, Ireland played a specific role also because the upcoming financial framework for 2014–2020 is for the first time in the history being adopted under the rules defined by the Lisbon Treaty. Compared to the previous MFFs, the on-going negotiations are therefore more complex since it is necessary to precisely define the interpretation of the Lisbon provisions.

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