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Effective relationships key to influence in Europe

Session: 2007/2008

Date: 01 June 2008

Reference: COFMDFM 22/07

Developing effective relationships with European partners is crucial for the economic development of Northern Ireland. That’s one of the issues that the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister will be discussing on their visit to Brussels.

During their visit, the Committee Members will also be briefed on the Lisbon Treaty and on the work of the Barroso Taskforce.

Speaking before leaving for meetings at the European Commission and the European Parliament, Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Danny Kennedy, MLA said, “This visit is very important to developing our relationships within the European Community.

“The Committee wishes to play its part and will be meeting with the British and Irish Ambassadors to the European Union and senior officials from the European Commission, to discuss how Northern Ireland can contribute to, and benefit from, an expanding Europe.

“The European Union is also an increasing source of legislation on matters that affect our every day lives. The Committee will therefore be examining how we can maximise Northern Ireland’s influence on the shape of forthcoming European legislation.”

The aim of the Committee’s visit is to develop a more detailed understanding of how the European Institutions work and to examine ways in which Northern Ireland can maximise its influence in Europe.

During a packed two day schedule the Committee will also be briefed on the EU institutions, the work of the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Europe and on the Commission’s work programme to tackle discrimination.

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