THE TÁNAISTE EAMON Gilmore and the Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton announced Ireland’s 2013 EU Presidency priorities today.
Around 150 gathered reporters were told that a deal on bank debt would be one of the top priorities following last June’s decision to break the link between banks and sovereigns.
“The Irish Presidency will build on this momentum toward a banking union, working on deposit guarantee schemes and bank resolution and recovery,” said Mr Gilmore. “This will be key to moving to the next phase: allowing the European Stability Mechanism to directly recapitalise banks.”
The Tanaiste said the presidency motto was, “Tús maith, leath na hoibre… stability, jobs and growth”.
He stated the urgency of this because 26 million Europeans are unemployed and said a spotlight would also be placed on youth unemployment, which stands at over 25 per cent in 13 EU Member States.
Europe’s digital sector and small and medium enterprises, which employ 87 million people in the EU already, are the areas that will be looked into as sectors with the highest growth potential.
Trade would also be a Presidency priority given that 30 million EU jobs depend on exports:
Trade agreements are top of our agenda. There is potential there for up to 2 per cent growth in GDP across the EU. With the benefit of Ireland’s close links with the US, we will work to progress the idea of a comprehensive EU-US Free Trade Agreement – among others. I discussed this recently with Secretary of State Clinton and I know it is a priority for them as well.
The presidency’s dedicated website www.eu2013.ie was also launched today.