Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss Europe Week, undocumented Irish and Global Irish Economic Forum

May 7th, 2013 - Pat Breen

7th May 2013

Europe Week will be marked by the Foreign Affairs Committee when it meets with Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lucinda Creighton tomorrow, Wednesday, 8th May 2013 to discuss the European Neighourhood Policy, enlargement of the EU and developments in the OSCE.

Committee Chairman Pat Breen TD said: “The European Neighbourhood Policy was developed in 2004, with the objective of avoiding the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and neighbouring countries and instead strengthening the prosperity, stability and security of all. Tomorrow we will have a chance to discuss this policy and the EU’s relationship with neighbouring countries, as well as considering the EU’s enlargement agenda and the accession process of prospective new member States and developments in the OSCE.”

The issue of the undocumented Irish in the United States will be discussed by the Committee when it meets with the Irish Abroad Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade tomorrow.

Deputy Breen said: “The status of undocumented Irish in the United States is an issue of interest and concern for our Committee. Due to their status, many undocumented Irish are unable to return home for funerals, family occasions, to visit sick or elderly relatives and friends or even for holidays. We’re aware that US President Barack Obama has placed much emphasis on immigration reform and tomorrow is an opportunity for the Committee to get an update from the Irish Abroad Unit on the prospects for such reform and how this will improve the position of undocumented Irish. It is also a chance to consider the work the Department of Foreign Affairs and our Embassy in the US is doing in conjunction with the Irish American community to ensure the interests of undocumented Irish are included in any reform or legislation.

“The Committee will also receive a progress report on the outcome of the Second Global Irish Economic Forum and it will be a chance for members to see if objectives have been met to date.

The meeting will start in Committee Room 1, Leinster House at 2.30pm on Wednesday, 8th May 2013.

Committee proceedings can be followed live at:
http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/watchlisten/