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Minister Byrne to attend meeting of the General Affairs Council

The Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, T.D., will participate in a meeting of the General Affairs Council (GAC) in Luxembourg on Tuesday 19 October.

The main item at this month’s Council will be preparation of the European Council meeting on 21/22 October. At that meeting, leaders will discuss the Covid-19 pandemic and digital issues including the 2030 Digital Compass. The European Council will also prepare for the ASEM summit on 25/26 November and the Eastern Partnership summit on 15 December, as well as taking stock of preparations for the upcoming meetings of COP26 on climate change and of COP15 on biological diversity. Energy prices, migration and trade will also be discussed.

Ministers at the General Affairs Council will also have an exchange of views on the annual rule of law dialogue. In addition, there will be a discussion on the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister Byrne said:

“This will be a busy meeting of the General Affairs Council as we prepare for the European Council in Brussels later this week where leaders will discuss a wide range of issues, including the current rise in energy prices.

“We will also exchange views on the annual rule of law dialogue. The rule of law is a fundamental principle for all EU Member States and it is of vital importance that the rule of law is preserved, protected, and promoted across the Union. The EU is a union of laws and values. Acceptance of the primacy of EU law is an essential criterion for membership of the European Union. The existence and prosperity of our single market and the upholding of our common values are both predicated on respect for this core principle.

“We will also discuss the Conference on the Future of Europe. This weekend marks another milestone in the Conference process as the second Conference Plenary session takes place in Strasbourg. I look forward to hearing from my colleagues across the EU how the Conference is progressing in their countries and what suggestions citizens have been putting forward and how they have been engaging with the Conference. I will brief colleagues on our own national programme of events and also discuss how we can promote greater public engagement with the Conference in the coming months.”

ENDS

Press Office

19 October 2021

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