Dáil Éireann - Volume 590 - 14 October, 2004
Written Answers - EU Presidency.
Mr. Gilmore Mr. Gilmore
63. Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Finance the final cost to the Exchequer arising from Ireland’s presidency of the EU; the way in which the final figures compare with the original estimate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24648/04]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Mr. Cowen: In the 2004 Estimates, the Government set aside €64.24 million to meet the additional costs associated with Ireland’s tenure as President of the European Union. In 2003, an amount of approximately €15.3 million was spent on additional costs incurred in the lead up to our term of office.
From the information reported to my Department the latest indications are that the final cost in 2004 will be approximately €94.5 million. These costs, including general staffing, training, accommodation, cultural events, communications and information technology and transport and security, represent once-off expenditure necessary to ensure a successful discharge of the functions and responsibilities arising from Ireland’s EU Presidency.
This was the sixth occasion that Ireland has undertaken the Presidency of the European Union. Since the last Irish Presidency in 1996, there has been a significant increase in the work load of the Presidency, notably in the areas of common foreign and security policy and in justice and home affairs. In addition, Ireland was the first member state to preside over a further enlarged Union of 25 member states with the addition of ten new member states during our term. Deputies will appreciate the difficulties of accurately estimating costs for a substantially changed and enlarged event and a much changed security environment.
During the Presidency, 36 ministerial summit level meetings were held in various locations throughout the country. The provision of the necessary logistical support and infrastructural services for these meetings involved a huge amount of work and cost.
The level of works, services and costs involved in the 1 May enlargement ceremony and in the EU-US summit were substantially higher than anticipated. In particular, the direct and ancillary security costs, such as temporary accommodations for Garda personnel, security fencing, lighting and so forth, incurred in respect of these events was significant.
Dáil Éireann 590 Written Answers EU Presidency.