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Kenny and Gilmore off to Brussels to discuss outcome of European elections

The European leaders will discuss the impact of the election results as well as the Ukraine crisis.

Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.
Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY and outgoing Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore are to meet European leaders in Brussels today in what is their first gathering since the election.

The European leaders will  be discussing the outcome of the elections and will consider who the possible next head of the European Commission will be.

The political landscape in Europe has changed following the election of eurosceptic and far-right parties.

That tremor was delivered by European voters backing eurosceptics in a stinging rebuke to Brussels, with France’s National Front (FN) and Britain’s UKIP leading the pack of anti-EU parties.

France’s President Francois Hollande went on national television to call for the EU to reduce its role, which he said had become for many citizens “remote and incomprehensible”.

The embattled leader saw the far-right National Front (FN) come out on top in France’s vote, pushing his Socialist Party to a humiliating third place in the elections for seats in the European parliament.

“This cannot continue. Europe has to be simple, clear, to be effective where it is needed and to withdraw from where it is not necessary,” Hollande said in his address to the nation.

Across the Channel, British Prime Minister David Cameron faced a similar sentiment from voters, with the anti-EU UK Independence Party’s victory at the ballot box.

The European leaders will meet from 5pm today to take stock after the four days of voting across the 28-nation bloc, which came to a close on Sunday.

They will also discuss the election of the next president of the European Commission, the head of the EU executive.

The crisis in Ukraine is also on the agenda.

- © AFP, 2014

Additional reporting Christina Finn 

Read: Ruairí Quinn ‘resents’ how Eamon Gilmore was treated>

Read: State of Play: Just 6 seats to be filled in local elections>

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