Dáil Éireann - Volume 418 - 29 April, 1992
Written Answers. - Reconstruction of Europe.
Mr. Ryan Mr. Ryan
23. Mr. Ryan asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he has any proposals to convene a meeting of representatives of the various economic professional institutes with a view to coordinating and promoting consultancy opportunities for Irish professionals in the context of the reconstruction of Central and Eastern Europe and elsewhere; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. Ryan Mr. Ryan
39. Mr. Ryan asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the action, if any, he proposes to take to consolidate and enhance the role of DEVCO with a view to ensuring that Irish semi-State bodies and personnel connected with such bodies, are placed to maximum advantage to avail of commercial contractual opportunities related to the assistance being given by the EC, the World Bank and other bodies towards  the economic reconstruction of Central and Eastern Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. O'Malley) Desmond J. O'Malley
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. O'Malley): I propose to take Questions Nos. 23 and 39 together.
The reconstruction of the economies in Central and Eastern Europe, a process aided largely by the technical assistance programmes of the European Commmunity, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), creates an enormous range of opportunities for Irish experts in almost every area of economic activity.
Since the end of 1989, therefore, my Department has played a key role in informing and advising a wide range of organisations here in relation to these opportunities, working closely in this process with An Bord Tráchtála. Officials from my Department represent Ireland on the EC PHARE and TACIS Management Committees, which supervise the Commission's management of the relevant EC Assistance Programmes, and ensure the strongest possible Irish participation in various programmes.
Specifically with a view to assisting these CEE countries with the provision of technical skills and services from Ireland I established, last year, an Eastern Europe Group, under the auspices of my Department, to act as a forum for exchange of information and ideas about development opportunities provided by the various technical assistance programmes in Eastern Europe. It consists of representatives of a wide range of interests including the Confederation of Irish Industry, DEVCO, IDI, TDI, some Irish banks, ABT and the Department of Foreign Affairs and has been structured to ensure the fullest possible dissemination of information among all parties interested in the services and consultancy areas in CEE countries.
As to DEVCO specifically, the Deputy will be aware that it is an autonomous organisation operating under the direct auspices of a number of State and semi-State organisations. It is not an organisation for which I have any statutory  function and I am not, therefore concerned with any efforts at consolidating or enhancing its role. It is however, aleady represented in the Eastern Europe Group to which I have already referred and has a close working relationship with both my Department and An Bord Tráchtála.
Dáil Éireann 418 Written Answers. Reconstruction of Europe.