Dáil Éireann - Volume 560 - 30 January, 2003
Written Answers. - Ministerial Meetings.
Mr. Sherlock Mr. Sherlock
24. Mr. Sherlock asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if he has had any recent meetings with his European counterparts to discuss matters of mutual interest; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2052/03]
Mr. O'Donoghue Mr. O'Donoghue
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Mr. O'Donoghue): On the tourism front, I recently met with the Minister with responsibility for tourism in Northern Ireland, Mr. Ian Pearson, MP, to discuss issues relating to the international marketing of the island of Ireland as a tourist destination. This meeting took place in London in November as part of my visit to the world travel market at which Tourism Ireland was participating. I also met my counterpart in the devolved Welsh administration, Mr. Andrew Davies, in October last, to discuss issues of mutual interest in the tourism and sport areas.
On the arts and culture side, I participated at the Education, Youth and Culture Council of EU Ministers which took place in November in Brussels and I will be attending future such councils this year.
As regards sport, it is my intention to attend the world anti-doping conference to be held in Copenhagen from 3 to 5 March, at which I expect to meet a number of my European colleagues. In the context of the joint Scotland-Ireland bid to host the finals of the 2008 European Championships, I had a number of discussions with my Scottish counterpart, Mr. Mike Watson.
As preparations advance for Ireland's Presidency of the EU in 2004, I intend developing contacts this year with my EU colleagues in order to identify areas of mutual interest and issues which can be usefully progressed during our Presidency. Of particular interest in this context are the arrangements for the European Year of Education through Sport 2004, which will be launched at the beginning of Ireland's EU Presidency next year.
Dáil Éireann 560 Written Answers. Ministerial Meetings.