Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs

Task Force Report on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and Doing Less More Efficiently: Discussion

2:00 pm

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I agree that Dr. Schön-Quinlivan made an excellent presentation and covered every aspect of the issue with which we are dealing. It is a matter of grave concern to ourselves, looking back and looking forward, especially in light of recent political events and the way things work between the European, national and local levels. There is the question of how decisions are to be made and how we are to be the policy makers of the future, whether that is at the European, national or local level. There are so many things to be taken into consideration and such work, including what the witnesses are doing, is very much to be appreciated.

I particularly appreciate the school visits programme with its question-and-answer sessions, which is very important. I have been going to schools since 1999, not just colleges and secondary schools but national schools also, and I place great significance on this. Young people take a great interest. If we give time to young people, they will give time to listening and asking questions. Sometimes the questions asked in a national school can be very thought provoking and are a reflection of what parents are saying at home. It is a very important function and I would encourage everybody to engage in this. The problem all of us have is time but, whether one is an elected representative or an official in a Department, it is my view that if one gives to young people, it will pay dividends in the future. The young are the really important during these schools visits because they are the policymakers, officials and politicians of the future. It is also they who will be creating jobs. Great significance should be attached to giving them information to consider.

Does Dr. Schön-Quinlivan agree with the task force that there are no policy areas which should be re-delegated, or are there are policy areas that she thinks should, could or would be re-delegated? I invite Dr. Schön-Quinlivan to respond. While I do not want to rush her, we would appreciate it if she could condense her responses a little.


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