Minister of State for European Affairs, Peter Burke T.D., to attend meeting of the General Affairs Council in Brussels
Minister for European Affairs, Peter Burke T.D., will attend a meeting of the General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels on Tuesday, 21 March. At the GAC, Ministers will prepare the European Council to be held on 23-24 March where discussion by Leaders will centre on Ukraine/Russia, Competitiveness, the Single Market, and the Economy, and Energy. Ministers will also hold an important discussion on EU-UK relations with a view to adopting two Council Decisions setting out the EU’s position in support of the Windsor Framework. Other items to be discussed at the General Affairs Council include the European Semester, and Rule of Law, while Ministers will also have an informal lunch with the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna.
Ahead of the meeting, Minister Burke said: “This is an important session of the General Affairs Council which will prepare the regular March European Council later this week where Leaders will review how to enhance the EU’s overall economic performance and long-term competitiveness as well as discuss further support for Ukraine in combatting Russia’s unjust war of aggression. We mark the 30th anniversary of the Single Market this year and its consolidation and completion remains fundamental in our view to securing Europe’s long-term prosperity and competitiveness.”
“With the Windsor Framework, the EU and the UK agreed a series of practical and sustainable measures that address, in a definitive way, the concerns raised in Northern Ireland. I hope that this consensus can provide momentum toward getting the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement up and running as soon as possible, across all three strands.”
“I also look forward, along with my EU colleagues, to meeting with Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister, Olha Stefanishyna, at the Council. She visited Dublin in June 2022 and met with President Higgins as well as a number of parliamentarians. This is a timely opportunity to reiterate Ireland’s steadfast support for Ukraine, our commitment to supporting Ukraine’s EU membership aspirations, and our utter condemnation of Russia’s ongoing attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure across Ukraine. Ireland provided over €50 million in bilateral support for Ukraine in 2022 and our support in 2023 will continue to focus on the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable.”