Thursday 17 October 2019

Taoiseach seeks to shore up EU solidarity

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Photo: Frank McGrath
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Photo: Frank McGrath
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will seek to shore up EU support for Ireland when he meets with leaders in Brussels today.

The contenders vying to replace Theresa May as British prime minister have promised to take a different approach to Ireland in the context of the Brexit negotiations.

But Mr Varadkar remains confident that the solidarity shown over the past two years will remain consistent even though many of the top jobs in Europe are about to change hands.

Over the next two days, EU leaders will discuss four high-level positions that have to be filled in the coming months: the presidents of the European Council, the European Commission, the European Parliament, as well as the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.

Outgoing chiefs Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker have been among the most strident supporters of Ireland's demand that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement includes guarantees on the Border.

Each EU member state must also shortly begin the process of selecting their nominee for the role of commission for the next five years. Mr Varadkar is expected to send former environment minister Phil Hogan back to Brussels for a second term.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the appointments will be of huge importance to Ireland.

Irish Independent

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