The Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, T.D., will represent Ireland today at a video conference of Ministers for European Affairs.
As part of the Annual Rule of Law Dialogue, Minister Byrne will participate in a discussion on the rule of law situation in five Member States, including Ireland. Ministers will also discuss the current state of play in EU-UK relations. The Portuguese Presidency will provide information on the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe and the Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process. Ministers will also focus on COVID-19 EU coordination.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister Byrne said, “I welcome this opportunity to take stock of the current state of EU-UK relations with my EU colleagues. The last few weeks have seen intense engagement on outstanding issues relating to implementation of the Protocol. It is vital that we maintain this positive momentum, so that full implementation of the Protocol can deliver stability and benefits for the people of Northern Ireland and fairness of opportunity for all.”
Minister Byrne also said, “As part of the new annual peer review system, we will discuss the rule of law situation in five Member States, including Ireland. We actively engaged with the Commission in the preparation of the Ireland chapter of the first Annual Rule of Law report. I welcome the opportunity to continue this process today and further discuss the assessment of Ireland. Human rights and freedoms can’t be taken for granted. These dialogues are a chance for Member States to learn from one another on approaches that have proven effective in upholding this core EU value.”
19 April 2021