Stability, jobs and growth. This is the motto that will define Ireland’s upcoming EU Council presidency starting on January 1st. On Monday Ireland unveiled their agenda for the next 6 months.
Banking supervision and reaching a deal on the EU budget will take center stage. But with EU leaders failing to reach consensus on the next EU long-term budget in November, the Irish will be under pressure to clinch a deal.
‘We will focus on restoring stability in the Euro area and the EU economy. Last June, we all agreed that we need to break the link between banks and sovereigns. And last week we achieved a major step forward with agreement on the on the Single Supervisory Mechanism. The Irish Presidency will build on this momentum towards banking union working on deposit guarantee schemes and bank resolution and recovery’, said Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore.
Other priorities will be the EU Digital Agenda and the Single Market. And with unemployment rates rising across Europe, the Irish presidency will focus on creating jobs for the youth.
‘The Irish Presidency will prioritize the issue of youth unemployment. With over 20% of EU youth people experiencing unemployment, this has to be our priority. We will push for a comprehensive EU approach tackling this problem starting with the youth employment package. And particular we aim to get consensus on the principles of youth guarantee’, said Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore.
With elections coming up in Germany and Italy, progress on the Irish priorities could be threatened.
‘The reference to sets of elections sin Italy and Germany, I don’t think that either set of elections are going to delay progress. We’ve had agreements. There have been speculations on Banking Union. They has been speculation at different stages that the Banking Union proposal was going to be slow down or delayed, that hasn’t happen’, said the Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore.
The Irish Presidency begins on the 40th anniversary of Ireland’s accession to the European Union. In 1973, 83% of Irish citizens wanted to join the Union.