Dáil Éireann - Volume 666 - 05 November, 2008
Written Answers. - EU Treaties.
Deputy Brian Hayes Deputy Brian Hayes
Deputy Brian Hayes asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if Ireland’s failure to get a person (details supplied) appointed to the EU reflection group on the future of Europe was related to the Lisbon “No” vote; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38506/08]
Deputy Micheál Martin Deputy Micheál Martin
 Deputy Micheál Martin: The European Council agreed on 14 December 2007 to establish a Reflection Group and appointed Felipe González (former Prime Minister of Spain) as Chairman of the Group. Two Vice Chairs were also appointed: Vaira Vike-Freiberga (former Latvian President) and Jorma Ollila (former Chairman of Nokia). The Reflection Group is intended to look at the challenges facing Europe beyond 2020. The December 2007 European Council invited the Chair and two Vice Chairs to submit a list of nominees for membership of the Group. The list of nine names proposed by Mr González and his co-chairs was agreed by the European Council on 17 October last.
The list proposed by Mr González reflected his desire for a breadth of experience, not limited to the political world. While I am sure that the person named would have made an excellent contribution to the work of the group, Mr González had to weigh up a number of considerations in making his choice. There are just twelve members on the Reflection Group, which means that less than half of the 27 member States can be represented. The membership of the Group reflects a balance between larger and smaller states and includes people with experience in different fields, including business, academia and culture, as well as political life.
While the result of our referendum had no direct bearing on the composition of the Reflection Group, it is clear that the priority for Ireland in the coming period will be to find a solution with regard to the Lisbon Treaty that will secure Ireland’s future position within the European Union.
Dáil Éireann 666 Written Answers. EU Treaties.