Shane Fitzgerald

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

Tag: Oireachtas

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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Eyes on Ukraine

A recent session of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on European Affairs addressed some worrying developments in Ukraine. The committee welcomed the presentation by the Ukrainian Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Borys Bazylevskyi, which discussed European integration, energy security, the proposed EU-Ukraine free trade area and bilateral relations with Ireland. The Ambassador described how Ukraine has, in the 18 years since independence, managed the transition from being part of the Soviet Union to being an independent state with a market economy.

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