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Minister Burke attends the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels

Minister Burke attends the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels

The Minister of State for European Affairs, Peter Burke TD, will represent Ireland at the EU General Affairs Council (GAC) meeting on 15 November in Brussels.

Ministers at the Council will review the Annotated Draft Agenda for the December European Council. The current agenda for the European Council covers Ukraine, the Middle East, EU Enlargement, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, Security and Defence, and External Relations.

Other items to be addressed at the Council include a discussion on EU-UK relations, as well as one on the European Commission’s work programme for 2024. There will also be discussions on the Rule of Law in Poland and EU Values in Hungary.

There will be a further progress report on Spain’s request for Catalan, Basque and Galician to be adopted as official languages of the EU. Ministers will also have a working lunch on the Future of Europe.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister Burke said:

“This month’s Council will be important for preparing the discussions to take place at the European Council in December. EU Leaders will again address the serious conflict situations in both Ukraine and the Middle East.

“It is important that the EU continues to convey strong messages about the vital need for de-escalation, the protection of civilians and adherence for international humanitarian law as well as the EU’s continued strong support for Ukraine in resisting Russian aggression. We must also continue to work to ensure vital humanitarian assistance reaches people in Gaza.

“I also very much welcome that the Council will receive an update on the current state of play of EU-UK relations. While we welcome the progress in implementing the first phase of the Windsor Framework, we need to continue focusing on ensuring that all the existing Agreements are implemented in full and in good faith so that we can continue to build a positive and stable relationship with the UK that is very much in the interests of all of us.”