Dáil Éireann - Volume 577 - 18 December, 2003
Written Answers. - EU Presidency.
Mr. M. Higgins Mr. M. Higgins
76. Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if, in connection with the arrangements for sponsorship of the European Union Presidency announced by him on 11 December, 2003, the attention of donors and potential donors of goods and services has been drawn by his Department to section 4 of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2001; and the other steps which have been taken to protect the position of donors and to ensure that the presumption of corruption provided for in that section does not in any circumstances arise. [31784/03]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen):As I have said before in the House, we have modelled our approach to sponsorship on that applied by the very successful Danish Presidency and my officials have had discussions with their Danish counterparts on all aspects of sponsorship including possible conflicts of interest. In line with the Danish model, it was decided that, rather than approaching individual companies, we would seek expressions of interest from companies through the various umbrella groups for business in Ireland, such as the Irish Business and Employers Confederation, the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland, the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation, the Irish Hotel Federation and the Society of the Irish Motor Industry to outline the sponsorship possibilities. In this way, the offer of sponsorship for the Presidency was available to all. We have also been clear that all sponsorship will be in the form of goods and services – no cash sponsorship will be considered.
All expressions of interest in sponsoring the Presidency are vetted by an interdepartmental committee with responsibility for planning for the Presidency. If there was any likely risk of a conflict of interest, the interdepartmental group would not enter into any commitments with that company. There is no question of the sponsorship arrangements in any way compromising the conduct of the Government in the course of the Presidency or in the future in any fashion. This was made clear during discussions with the companies involved.
Question No. 77 answered with Question No. 74.
Dáil Éireann 577 Written Answers. EU Presidency.