Dáil Éireann - Volume 588 - 24 June, 2004

Written Answers. - EU Presidency.

  66. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the total cost to the taxpayer of Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union; the value of sponsorship which was associated with the Presidency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18792/04]

  Mr. Cowen: It is not possible for me to indicate the total cost to the taxpayer of the Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union as each Department and State body involved in the Presidency has been provided with a Presidency budget and is responsible for its own expenditure and costs. I cannot, at this stage, say what is the total cost incurred by the Department of Foreign Affairs as there are a number of invoices outstanding. In some cases where invoices have been received, officials are [200] checking them against expected costs and seeking clarification where necessary. My Department is in contact with the relevant suppliers in relation to agreeing these costs and we would hope to be in a position to finalise the Department’s expenditure in the near future.

It is envisaged that the Department of Foreign Affairs will incur costs in the following areas: salaries and allowances, travel and subsistence, training, accommodation, transport, catering, media and communications. Miscellaneous costs will include printing and signage etc.

The Department of Foreign Affairs availed of sponsorship arrangements offered by Eircom, Audi, Tipperary Water and Kerrygold. Support was also received from a number of local organisations and companies. While it is not possible to provide at this time the total value of the sponsorship, the Deputy may wish to note that by the end of the Presidency, Eircom and Audi between them will have supplied goods and services worth approximately €5 million. This has helped to ensure that the approximately 230 meetings, including ministerial level meetings, held in Ireland ran smoothly and efficiently. Tipperary Spring Water and Kerrygold also supplied their products free of charge for every ministerial level meeting in Ireland as well as for meetings in Brussels.