Shane Fitzgerald

A portfolio of writing on politics and policy in Europe and Asia

Month: December, 2009

MGQ and Innovation Ireland

How can the EU help build a Smart Economy?

Members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on European Affairs recently congratulated Maire Geoghegan Quinn (known to a generation of Irish journalists as MGQ) on her appointment as Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. The appointment has met with a positive response from Irish commentators both because of MGQ’s perceived competence and because of the relative importance of the portfolio, not to mention its “appropriateness” to Ireland’s stated policies and priorities.

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Demonstrating Democracy

How to empower national parliaments for European democracy. 

In March 2009, the European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) adopted a report (subsequently adopted by the European Parliament) on the development of relations between the European Parliament and national parliaments under the Lisbon Treaty. The report proposed “new forms of pre- and post-legislative dialogue” and advocated strengthening the network of meetings between corresponding committees of the European Parliament and national parliaments. The report also urged innovations such as encouraging MEPs to address national parliamentarians and to participate in the meetings of European affairs committees. The Oireachtas has already begun to respond to this report, for example by allowing for the attendance of Irish MEPs at the Joint Committee on European Affairs.

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