Press Release

Committee Calls for Better European Links

Session: 2009/2010

Date: Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Reference: COFMDFM 01/09/10

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister has called for better links with Europe.

Chairperson, Mr Danny Kennedy said: “There are opportunities for better employment opportunities, training and education by working closely with Europe. Promoting Northern Ireland, its industries and its skills is the essential to ensure growth and development.

“It is imperative that the Northern Ireland Assembly’s role in Europe is enhanced. The European Union produces legislation on matters that affect our every day lives. We can input into this legislation and ensure that Northern Ireland is represented through improved relationships. The Lisbon Treaty has created a role for regional parliaments in the early influencing of legislation.

“We in the Committee believe that the Executive and the Assembly cannot do this alone. Local authorities and voluntary organisations have also a valuable contribution to make in sharpening Northern Ireland’s focus on Europe and its Institutions.”

The Report, entitled Consideration of European Issues, contained recommendations for the Northern Ireland Executive, the Assembly Commission and the Speaker together with actions for the Assembly’s statutory committees.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The Terms of Reference for the consideration of European issues:

  • Review the Northern Ireland Assembly’s role in relation to European issues and to make recommendations to improve scrutiny of European policy and enhance engagement with European issues.
  • Consider the Northern Ireland Executive’s strategic approach to European issues, including in particular the Northern Ireland Executive’s response to the work of the Barroso Taskforce ( EU Special Taskforce to Northern Ireland see link to OFMDFM website http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/content_-_co-operation-barroso-taskforce ).
  • Consider European policy issues which fall within the remit of the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

Information about the Committee

The Committee for the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister is one of the statutory committees established by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 9 May 2007.

A motion was approved in the Assembly on Tuesday 12 June 2007 proposing that the committee’s name be changed from the Committee of the Centre to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

The role of the Committee as set out in Standing Orders for the Northern Ireland Assembly is “to advise and assist the First Minister and the deputy First Minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within their responsibilities as Ministers jointly in charge of the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister.”

Committee Membership: -

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

All enquiries regarding the work of the Committee should be directed to the Committee Clerk: -

Cathie White
Room 416, Parliament Buildings
Tel: 028 9052 1448

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