Stability, jobs and growth will be the focus of the Irish EU Presidency, said Wednesday before the European Parliament Plenary Prime Minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny.
Presenting the priorities of the Irish EU Presidency, he said that “the deepest hurt is that of unemployment”, adding that “we will prioritise the Youth Employment Package including the Youth Guarantee”.
“Completing the Single Market, removing barriers to business, increasing trading opportunities and improving competitiveness are all critical in improving the environment for jobs”, he pointed out.
He also said that the Irish Presidency will work with all involved so that the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 is agreed soon.
As regards economic issues, he said that stability is needed, above all in the financial sector and the area of economic governance and referred to the legislative proposals that the Irish Presidency will promote in the next six months.
The Irish PM said that in matters of foreign policy, “we will work closely in support of the efforts of the High Representative / Vice President Ashton to strengthen the role of the European Union in bringing peace to troubled regions such as Syria, Iran, Mali and Somalia”.
Referring to trade, he said that Ireland sees real potential to increase Europe’s trade with strategic partners. “We have high hopes for the opening of Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the US. We believe the time is right to do so”, he pointed out.
He also talked about enlargement, noting that “this Presidency will also prioritise a credible enlargement policy”.
“We look forward to greeting the Croatian people as Members on 1 July”, he said, adding that “for those countries in negotiations, each at a different stage, we will work to advance the process with Iceland, Turkey, and Montenegro. Important decisions may also be possible on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, and Kosovo during Ireland’s term”.
Before touching upon the priorities of the Irish Presidency, the Prime Minister talked about his country’s economic situation, noting that the economy in Ireland began to show signs of recovery.
He also expressed the conviction that his country will exit the Troika program saying “as a nation we are determined to exit the EU-IMF Programme before the end of this year.”
Get all the latest news and videos in your inbox. Register FREE