Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Minister of State Helen McEntee attend General Affairs Council
President Juncker’s State of the Union speech is an important contribution to the ongoing debate on the future of Europe. We greatly appreciated the solidarity President Juncker has demonstrated on Brexit, and welcome his comments today in support of Ireland.His wide-ranging speech touched on many of the key areas in the debate, including the issue of migration. I share his views about the need for solidarity amongst Member States and the need to tackle the root causes, including through investment in Africa.The Taoiseach will be discussing these issues next week in Salzburg at a special summit.It is important to put the President’s proposals on the future of Europe into the wider context of the debate taking place across the EU. We have used our Citizens’ Dialogues to engage with the Irish public on their priorities and to ensure that their voices are heard in this debate.I am pleased to note President Juncker’s focus on young people and Erasmus, and on giving more opportunities to researchers and start-ups. These have emerged as strong priorities in our public engagement on the future of Europe.We look forward to delivering a positive agenda in the run up to Sibiu.