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Enda Kenny speaks with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso after a summit between Irish ministers and European commissioners in Brussels last October. European Commission

European Commissioners to visit Dublin as part of presidency

All 27 members of the European Commission are in town to meet members of the Irish government in Dublin Castle.

THE 27 MEMBERS of the European Commission are due in Dublin this morning for a high-level meeting with members of the Irish government.

The 27 members – each nominated by one EU member state, and led by commission president Jose Manuel Barroso – will discuss Ireland’s proposed programme for its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The members include former cabinet minister Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the Irish member of the Commission who is responsible for Research, Innovation and Science.

Cecelia Malmstrom, the Swedish commissioner for Home Affairs, tweeted that she and her colleagues would “talk to ministers and see how we can cooperate in the best way”.

Most commissioners sit in on meetings of the Council of the EU (the meetings of ministers from each member state, which Ireland will be chairing for the next six months), meaning commissioners end up working closely with the council’s president country.

Today’s meetings will include several bilateral meetings between the European Commissioners and the Irish ministers responsible for their respective policy briefs.

The commissioners come a day after Herman van Rompuy, the president of the European Council – the body made up of the 27 heads of government of each EU state – visited Dublin and complimented Ireland on its plans for its presidential term.

The visit is a return visit after most of Ireland’s cabinet travelled to Brussels to meet the Commission in October, to brief them on Ireland’s policy proposals for its presidency.

Separately, the EU’s political directors will hold their biannual meeting – where they set the policy objectives for the Foreign Affairs Council – in Farmleigh.

A high-level group on gender mainstreaming, comprising of the officials in each member state responsible for gender equality issues, will be held in Kilmainham.

In full: Herman van Rompuy’s speech in Dublin yesterday

Explainer: A crash course on Ireland’s presidency of the EU

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