Press Release

Assembly Committee Holds Its First Meeting Outside Northern Ireland

Session: 2009/2010

Date: Thursday, 10 June 2010

Reference: COFMDFM 02/09/10

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) today (Thursday 10 June) held its first Committee meeting outside Northern Ireland during a visit to Brussels.

Committee Chair, Danny Kennedy, MLA said: “The OFMDFM Committee understands how important it is to engage early with the European Institutions. This will help us to come up with effective solutions to shared problems [1].

“For that reason we have taken formal evidence from all the Governments of the trio of presidencies of the Council of the European Union [2] on their priorities and in particular those priorities in relation to combating poverty and social exclusion. The Committee has a particular interest in this area and has completed an extensive report on child poverty. This is also the European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion.

“The fact that our meeting drew a lot of interest from other European parliaments and institutions is testament to how important it is that we work together across Europe to find common approaches to addressing issues that transcend boundaries.”

The Committee also took the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Basque and Bavarian regional parliaments to share experiences and best practice for working in Europe.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

[1] Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister Report on its Inquiry into Consideration of European Issues can be found at http://archive.niassembly.gov.uk/centre/2007mandate/reports/2009/Report_33_09_10R.htm

[2] The Trio of Presidencies of the European Union Council is held by Spain, Belgium and Hungary.

Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister visit to Brussels lasted two days (9&10 June) and included meetings with Parliamentary Officers from both regional and national parliaments, Northern Ireland MEPs, representation of the Free State of Bavaria, delegation of the Basque Country and the co-ordinator from the European Commission of the European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion.

Committee Membership: -

Danny Kennedy, MLA, Chairperson
Naomi Long, MLA, Deputy Chairperson
Martina Anderson, MLA
Tom Elliott, MLA
Dolores Kelly, MLA
Barry McElduff , MLA
Francie Molloy, MLA
Stephen Moutray, MLA
George Robinson, MLA
Jim Shannon, MLA
Jimmy Spratt, MLA

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