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Minister Byrne to attend meeting of the General Affairs Council

The Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne T.D., will attend a meeting of the General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels on Tuesday 20 September.


This  month’s General Affairs Council meeting will discuss the priorities of the Czech Presidency of the Council and will also have a discussion on the Rule of Law, the Commission’s Annual Foresight Report and follow up to the Conference on the Future of Europe. Ministers will also receive an update from the European Commission on EU-UK relations and will review preparations for next month’s meeting of the European Council. 


Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister Byrne said:


“This month sees another busy meeting of the General Affairs Council and I am looking forward to engaging with colleagues on the important issues on our agenda today including receiving an update from Commission Vice-President Šefčovič on the state of play in EU-UK relations. 


“Ireland continues to fully support VP Šefčovič’s approach on resolving the issues with implementation of the Protocol on Northern Ireland. The appointment of a new UK PM provides a real opportunity for a reset in EU-UK relations and a return to talks to find jointly agreed solutions around the implementation of the Protocol. 


“The Commission will also present its Annual Foresight report and legislative programme for the coming year and Ministers will have an opportunity to exchange views. Ireland welcomes the launch of this Report and more broadly we also welcome the work on strategic foresight that is underway at an EU level. Now more than ever, as we collectively face many daunting geopolitical and economic challenges, it is important to come together to find innovative solutions and to build a stronger and more resilient Europe for the future.”