Saturday 22 July 2017

Geoghegan-Quinn in vow to transform EU

Brian McDonald

IRELAND's new EU Commissioner, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, yesterday identified research and development as the key to economic recovery in Ireland and Europe.

In her first public address in Ireland since taking up her role as Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Ms Geoghegan Quinn outlined plans for her five-year political mandate and the way in which she believes they can support the economic fightback.

She told an invited audience at NUI Galway that Ireland had got a lot of things right in terms of economic planning over the past decade. A strong track record of investment in research and education would stand the country in good stead as it sought to emerge from the crisis. While she was not blind to the difficulties being faced, she believed that Europe had the right assets to overcome the current difficulties. "In times of crisis, those of us in public life have a public duty to optimism."

Her job was to transform Europe into "a really vibrant innovation economy", to help it make the transition from economy to "i-conomy".

A research and innovation plan, which would set out how she intended to achieve this, is due be debated by EU leaders at their autumn summit.

Ms Geoghegan Quinn said she intended to focus her policies on climate change, energy and food security and the need to enhance the well-being of an ageing population.

She said R&D budgets had to be maintained and she was pleased to see that the Irish Government had sought to do this.

Irish Independent

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