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Prelude (20 Jan 2004)

Prelude (20 Jan 2004)

Chuaigh an Ceann Comhairle i gceannas ar 2.30 p.m.

Prelude (20 Jan 2004)

Paidir

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Bertie Ahern: I am delighted we have the opportunity of a special sitting of the Dáil to debate Ireland's sixth Presidency of the European Union. Today's sitting of the Dáil provides us with a valuable opportunity to discuss the issues on the European Council's agenda during our Presidency. A number of these issues will impact on us for many years to come. One of the challenges facing the Union is the...

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Enda Kenny: I wish to share my time with Deputy Gay Mitchell.

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Rory O'Hanlon: Is that agreed? Agreed.

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Enda Kenny: I wish the Taoiseach and the Government well in the responsibilities entrusted to them under the EU Presidency. I offer him and the Government support from this side of the House where it is appropriate. I wish him well in the onerous task he has undertaken for the next number of months. There are four key issues I wish to raise regarding Ireland's Presidency of the EU. First, there is the...

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Gay Mitchell: I thank Deputy Kenny for sharing his time with me. I also thank the Taoiseach for his kind words about the Committee on European Affairs which works on a cross-party basis. Often when we meet in the basement we wonder if anybody notices. Therefore, I appreciate the Taoiseach's comments. I regret the rise in euroscepticism apparent in certain parts of the State. As we commence our Presidency...

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Pat Rabbitte: I wish to share time with Deputy Quinn.

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Batt O'Keeffe: Is that agreed? Agreed.

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Pat Rabbitte: It is appropriate that the Dáil should reconvene after the Christmas recess to a discussion of the Irish Presidency, an event which successive Governments have taken pride in dealing with well. I had the privilege of being President of two Councils of Ministers when Ireland last held the Presidency and I have no doubt that the Government and excellent public service back-up will again do the...

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Ruairi Quinn: I extend my best wishes to the Taoiseach, his Ministers and their civil servants who will be extremely busy over the next six months. All prospects of annual leave for them will have to take second place to the exigencies of the Presidency. We should all be aware of that. I welcome the presence in the Chamber of the European Union flag which is also being flown from a number of Government...

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Bertie Ahern: I will not comment on that.

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Ruairi Quinn: The Taoiseach must do much more than that. It is important that a small member state such as Ireland be seen to try as much as possible to achieve a solution. If the prospect of failing deters intervention of the courageous kind in which Deputy John Bruton has exhorted the Taoiseach to engage and if such difficulties prevent him from using his undoubted skills of persuasion and negotiation,...

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

John Bruton: Hear, hear, and at least some women were involved.

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Ruairi Quinn: Yes, exactly, and they were not all property owners either. The current situation concerning the IGC and the search for a satisfactory compromise on the EU constitution was not of the Taoiseach's choosing. It is now a necessity, however, to continue the search for a compromise, effectively between Poland, Spain, Germany and France. The Taoiseach knows, as I do, that agreement is close, but...

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

John Bruton: Deputy Rabbitte erected a few in his time.

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Ruairi Quinn: It is the nature and role of the small member states in the European Union, which with nothing to lose and no special interest make small interventions, to provide that unique stability. The Taoiseach can provide it if he has the courage to find it.

European Presidency: Statements. (20 Jan 2004)

Marian Harkin: I wish to share my time with Deputies Sargent and Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

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