Lucinda Creighton: With Ireland's EU presidency comes a chance for real change
IRELAND takes over the presidency of the European Council on January 1. Every member state of the EU has an opportunity to chair the council for six months, in rotation. Ireland will not hold the presidency again until 2028, so we intend to make the most of it.
It will be our seventh presidency and will also mark 40 years of Ireland's membership of the European Union. We will bring this vast experience to bear, for the good of Ireland and Europe.
We will chair around 1,600 meetings during the six months, 180 of which will take place in Ireland. We will welcome 15,000 delegates for official presidency-related conferences and meetings. It is estimated that a further 15,000 will visit for the many associated events taking place, being organised by NGOs, companies and all sorts of diverse organisations.