Belfast Telegraph

EU best model for future challenges – Tanaiste

Simon Coveney TD was speaking at an event on Europe Day in Dublin.

The Tanaiste has described the future of the EU goes as a force for creating greater security at home and abroad, which goes beyond economy prosperity.

Simon Coveney TD was speaking at the National Citizens’ Dialogue on the Future of Europe event in Dublin when he called for more work to be done to spread values of the union around the world.

He also announced the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is to produce a new White Paper on international development.

Mr Coveney said: “I believe it is crucial that we strongly support the European Union of today, with all its imperfections.

“At the same time, we must redouble our efforts to build a Europe that fulfils the aspirations of all its citizens.

“Our efforts must continue to go beyond economic prosperity and growth and offer also a vision of our values as Europeans, expressed in a generous engagement with the wider world.

“On Europe Day, we should remember where we have come from since 1950, since 1957, since 1973.

“We should remember progress made, lives saved, societies healed and economies grown.

“And we should reiterate our conviction that by showing solidarity, sticking to our values and embracing innovation, the European Union will remain the best model we have for facing the challenges of the future together.”

He went on to describe how working with other EU members was vital for tackling issues such as cyber-crime, terrorism and extremism.

The upcoming White Paper he announced is to stress the priority for protecting multilateralism and civil society space, preventing the erosion of norms and principles and to use Ireland’s multilateral engagement to advance priority issues.

Mr Coveney said it must be accompanied by more frequent dialogue between Europe and Africa.

He added: “I want us to be at the forefront too in charting a new, more assertive role for the EU in the Middle East Peace Process.

“We need to build on shared principles and develop a plan of action that can increase EU leverage and pressure to move towards a peaceful and secure two-state solution.”

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