News Analysis

Saturday 21 January 2017

Bruce Arnold: Britain could teach us a thing or two in butting heads with Brussels

Published 07/01/2013 | 17:00

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, centre, with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Lucinda Creighton, Minister of State for European Affairs, during the ceremony to mark
the 40th Anniversary of Ireland's Accession to the European Union and Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2013.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, centre, with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Lucinda Creighton, Minister of State for European Affairs, during the ceremony to mark the 40th Anniversary of Ireland's Accession to the European Union and Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2013.

The determination to keep our feet on the ground during our six-month presidency of the EU is welcome. We are a small country supposedly on a path to recovery and, if our leaders are correct, we are heading towards solutions – mainly concerned with economic stability and growth and with the creation of jobs. There was a touch of George Orwell's '1984' in the rosy picture given recently by the Taoiseach as well as Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore and the Minister of State for European Affairs,Lucinda Creighton.

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They were putting recovery in the forefront of their confident forecasts. This might create new confidence, a focus on trade and the promise that "we become the first country in the eurozone to exit an EU-IMF programme". Ireland a success story so soon again? Ms Creighton stressed the modesty of our presidency. Everyone applauded. The Methodist choir sang 'An Irish Blessing' and we went away to get ourselves ready.

The event conformed with myth-making which is part of our current self-evaluation as it is also that of the EU. The award of the Nobel Peace Price to our European/EU rulers was the latest bit of such myth-making, an attempt to create the erroneous idea that Europe's great contribution over the past 60 years has fostered peace where there was war and has spread democracy, protecting and enhancing it.

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