Taoiseach Micheál Martin will travel to Brussels for a meeting of EU and Western Balkans Leaders', a two-day meeting of the European Council, and a Euro Summit on 23 and 24 June.
Leaders will discuss Ukraine, including its application for membership of the EU, as well as that of Moldova and Georgia. It is expected that an historic decision to confirm EU candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova will be taken in line with the European Commission’s recent recommendations.
Leaders will also discuss the ongoing impact of Russia’s war on Ukraine, and the EU’s commitment to continuing its strong humanitarian, military, economic and financial support. They will also condemn Russia’s weaponising of food supplies, stealing grain, and blocking ports, risking famine and political and social instability, especially in vulnerable countries.
Leaders will also discuss wider Europe, including the idea of a European political community to foster political dialogue and cooperation on strategic challenges across our region.
On Friday, leaders will turn to economic issues, including in a meeting of the Euro Summit which will hear from President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, and President of the Eurogroup, Paschal Donohoe, on future economic prospects. All Member States are facing the challenges of rising food and energy prices, inflation and interest rates.
Speaking ahead of the visit, the Taoiseach said:
“I have argued strongly that Ukraine be granted candidate status at this week’s European Council. The people of Ukraine have chosen a future in the European Union and they and Moldova deserve our full support. 50 years of EU membership has transformed Ireland and we stand ready to share our experience with those who wish to join. I would like to see the same opportunities extended to our Western Balkans partners also.
I also look forward to discussing with colleagues how we can continue to provide Ukraine with the political, economic, humanitarian and other supports it needs. We will also discuss Russia’s cynical weaponisation of hunger, and our support for the efforts of the UN to find ways to export grain and other foodstuffs.
Our discussion on economic challenges will also be important – we are all facing the same rising prices for energy and food, inflation and interest rates. We need to work together to strengthen the resilience of our economies, supporting our citizens and playing to our strengths, especially in deepening the Single Market.
The Euro area has demonstrated its resilience during Covid-19, and I will warmly welcome Croatia becoming the 20th country to join the Euro from the beginning of next year.“