Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne T.D. will travel to Germany this week for a series of engagements in Berlin.
The Minister will represent Ireland at the German Federal President’s Bürgerfest, or Citizens’ Festival, on Friday the 26th of August 2022. The festival takes place at the President of Germany’s official residence in Berlin, Schloss Bellevue. The German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has invited Ireland to be the Country of Honour at this year’s event. The festival is a celebration of people across Germany who are actively involved in civic and voluntary organisations.
At the festival, Ireland will showcase its culture and traditions, providing guests the opportunity to experience the beauty of Ireland, as well as the very best of Irish culture, food and drink. Minister Byrne will invite the festival hosts – President Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender - to sample some of this Irish flavour at our pavilion, led by the Embassy of Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Bord Bia; and to watch Riverdance perform to an audience of over 12,000 people over the two days of the festival. Riverdance will be bringing a special show at Bürgerfest, with over 30 dancers and musicians showcasing the best of Irish music, dance and creativity.
Minister Byrne will join Ms. Büdenbender in a panel discussion on youth inclusion and engagement, which will also see the participation of Irish youth representative, Mr. Thomas O’Grady.
Ahead of the trip, Minister Byrne said; “I very much look forward to my engagements in Berlin to promote the very best of Ireland, on display at the German President’s Citizen’s Festival. It is a valuable opportunity to speak about Ireland’s efforts on youth inclusion and engagement in the context of our 50 years of European Union membership.”
In addition to attending and participating in the Bürgerfest, Minister Byrne will conduct a series of engagements in Berlin, which will include meeting; Mr. Anton Hoftreiter MdB, Chair of the Bundestag’s (Federal Parliament) European Union Affairs Committee; German parliamentarians; the leadership at the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung political think-tank; and visiting the Berlin Wall Memorial & Documentation Centre.
Minister Byrne noted, “Germany is a crucial partner for Ireland and I very much welcome the opportunity to meet with key leaders in Germany to underline Ireland’s close bilateral relationship with Germany and to highlight Ireland’s views on various European issues, most notably EU-UK relations, the impact of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the results of the Conference on the Future of Europe.”