Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, held a virtual meeting today with Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, Ana Paula Zacarias, and the Ad-Hoc Group on North South and East West Cooperation.
Speaking about the meeting the Minister said:
“I welcome today’s useful discussions with the Ad-Hoc Group on North South and East West Cooperation, and appreciate the insights of its representatives on matters relating to ongoing cooperation across these islands, particularly in the context of implementation of the Protocol. It is important that the Protocol work as smoothly as possible for Northern Ireland, giving every citizen and every business the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
“We, and our EU partners, continue to listen carefully to the views of civil society, North and South, on Brexit and EU related issues. In this regard, I am very grateful to State Secretary Zacarias for joining us and engaging today. I look forward to continuing these positive discussions in person as soon as it is safe to do so.”
3 March 2021
Notes to Editor
- Portugal currently hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Secretary of State Zacarias deals with all EU-UK relations at the monthly General Affairs Council.
- The meeting was an opportunity to discuss Brexit and EU issues, including in relation to implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, with civil society representatives from across the island of Ireland.
- The Ad Hoc Group on North South and East West Cooperation draws together a range of organisations from Northern Ireland and Ireland, as a contact point for civil society consultation on North South cooperation on the island of Ireland, and cooperation between Ireland and Great Britain.