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McGill Summer School paper 2017

AT THE CENTRE OF THE UNION: Ireland can and must play a full part

MacGill Summer School 2017 paper by Brendan Halligan

 

In his recent address to the MacGill Summer School, Brendan Halligan looked at Ireland’s current situation in Europe in the light of BREXIT and discusses how, “there is one eminently pragmatic reason to be at the centre, and it’s economic. The disruption from Brexit will be widespread and long lasting and far greater here than in any other EU state.” But remaining at the centre of the EU will not only protect Ireland, but present it with a whole new gamut of possibilities

To read/download a PDF of this document, click here or scroll down.


 

Introduction

A Union without Britain will be a challenge in its own right. Ireland playing a full part at the centre of that Union only magnifies what is already a huge challenge, the biggest since 1939 in the words of Ruairi Quinn.

In considering how we respond, I want to start with what the Union is and what is meant by the centre, in which we‘re being asked to play a full part.

Franco/German Project

The Union is a Franco/German project. They are building a European home together. 

Other countries may join in, but must obey the rules. Joining is voluntary. You don’t have to join. Membership is voluntary too. You don’t have to stay. You can leave if you want to. And if you misbehave, you can be asked to go.

The European Union was famously described as ‘Journey to an Unknown Destination‚‘ by Andrew Shonfield in his Reith Lectures given in 1972. It has a history of progressively enlarging its membership, extending its activities and deepening the interdependence of its members. Progress goes forward in spurts, sometimes at speed. I suspect we are at such a moment. (more…)

Brendan Halligan interview with Gay Mitchell

Gay Mitchell, former Fine Gael TD and MEP conducts an in-depth interview with Brendan Halligan,  Former General Secretary of the Labour Party, MEP and Chairman of the IIEA. This feature is part of an exclusive series of interviews with prominent people in public life presented by Gay Mitchell.

To hear the full interview, click the “play” button at top left below. 

 

 

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Brexit Insight Issue 9: A Perfect Storm?

This article by Brendan Halligan appeared as analysis number 9
in the “Brexit Insight” series on the IIEA website.

Brexit Insight No 9 by Brendan Halligan

Previous issues of the Brexit Insight have identified the danger of a breakdown in the Brexit negotiations even before the talks begin. Far from disappearing, the danger has been increased by a combination of developments in the EU and separately in the UK. We may be facing into a perfect storm as the following analysis explains.

Introduction

Things have definitely taken a turn for the worst. The chances of a breakdown in the Brexit talks have increased from 30% to over 50%. And this is before the talks have even begun. They are now expected to start by mid June after the new British government has been put in place. Monday the 19th has been pencilled in.

Three developments have shortened the odds on a breakdown; adoption of the EU negotiating mandate, the publication of the Conservative Party election manifesto and the elaboration of the UK’s negotiating position.

EU Negotiating Mandate

Taking them in turn, the EU negotiating mandate now has the force of law having been adopted by the General Affairs Council on Monday, 22 May. A draft had been in circulation for weeks and had worked its way through the Union’s decision-making process but the key point remains the same: the EU has instructed its negotiator, Michel Barnier, to follow a prescribed agenda in which the UK’s Brexit Bill is to be settled before negotiations can open on the new trade deal with the UK. (more…)

BREXIT – A Risky Business? Brendan Halligan Podcast

BREXIT - A Risky Business? Podcast by Brendan HalliganOn 19 May, prior to the historic British vote on 23 June 2016, the IIEA held a timely conference in the AVIVA stadium which explored the implications of BREXIT for both the UK and Ireland.

The event was attended by a range of experts and sponsored by law firm McCann Fitzgerald, and for more information you check this link.

Brendan Halligan’s contribution to the event can be heard as a podcast posted on the IIEA website, at this link

 

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Powershift Energy Summit, 18 September 2015

01-Group-shot1-webOn 18 September, the IIEA and the ESB hosted a major international summit entitled “Powershift: Why Everything You Thought you Knew About Energy is Wrong”, which examined the future of the energy industry and the changes that will shape it. Click here to see the photo gallery of this event.

The summit brought together leaders, industry innovators and policy makers from around the planet, from Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President for Energy Union, European Commission, to Matthew Warren, Chief Executive of the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESSA).

The conference was introduced by Brendan Halligan, Chairman, IIEA, and Pat O’Doherty, CEO of ESB. Brendan Halligan also chaired one of the conference’s panel discussions, “Visions for the Future of Energy – Disrupt, Innovate, Connect!”

Taking place at the Conference Centre in Dublin’s historic Mansion House, subjects focused on transformative changes currently taking place in the energy sector due to the convergence of energy and digital technologies.

Electric-powered transport and storage, the connected home, how to attract investors to this new energy sector and how to deal with everyday customers who will need to adapt to the new systems were all discussed.   Click here to see a gallery of participants at the conference and for full coverage, visit: www.IIEA.com

 

Photos from the Jean-Claude Trichet Visit

Jean Claude-Trichet visit Royal Hospital KilmainhamOn Thursday, 30 May, former ECB President Jean Claude-Trichet visited Dublin’s Royal Hospital, Kilmainham to deliver a paper entitled, “Governance of the Eurozone: Past, Present and Future” at an event hosted by the Institute for European and International Affairs at .

Attended by over a hundred invited guests, attendees included the members of the Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis and the media. It was broadcast live on TV.

Chairman of the Institute, Brendan Halligan, presided and introduced President Trichet and two respondents to the address, Dr Michael Somers, Vice-Chairman, AIB, and Professor Gavin Barrett of the UCD School of Law.

Following the lecture and the responses, President Trichet answered questions from Institute members and, in separate sessions, from members of the Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis, popularly known in Ireland as “The Banking Inquiry.”

The Oireachtas committee consisted of its Chairman, Ciarán Lynch TD (Labour), and Pearse Doherty TD (Sinn Féin); Senator Seán D. Barrett (Independent); Senator Susan O’Keefe (Labour); John Paul Phelan TD (Fine Gael); Senator Michael D’Arcy (Fine Gael); Eoghan Murphy TD (Fine Gael); Michael McGrath TD (Fianna Fáil); Joe Higgins TD (Socialist Party); Kieran O’Donnell TD (Fine Gael) and Senator Marc MacSharry (Fianna Fáil).

President Trichet gave interviews to the media before returning to Paris.

For a photo gallery of the event, click here or on the image.

Ireland must fight to keep Britain in the EU

Indo-IIEA-Brit-Book-WEB

In an Op Ed piece in the Irish Independent today, Brendan Halligan comments on how Ireland “must fight to keep Britain in the EU” in the country’s Interest.

The article co-incides with the launch today of a new book by the IIEA, Britain and Europe:  The Endgame – An Irish Perspective.

Ireland must fight to keep Britain in EU – our national interest demands it

“It was David Cameron himself who described what is happening to Britain’s relationship with Europe as “sleepwalking towards the exit”. That’s a pretty accurate description of developments since he became prime minister. Having started out as someone who was fed up with his party banging on about Europe, as he called it, he has finished up as the man who intends to put Britain’s EU membership on the line.

He recently explained why he took the decision to hold a referendum: it was untenable to keep dodging the question he said. The reason for that, as we know, is the rise of Ukip, which wants Britain out of the EU and which is eating into the Conservative Party’s support. Some two-thirds of the Conservative membership also want Britain to leave and it is this combination of forces which is pushing Britain towards the exit, with its eyes shut” … (more…)

Launch of new IIEA book

Brit-Eur-EndgameTomorrow, just six weeks ahead of the UK general election, the IIEA will be launching a major new book entitled Britain and Europe:  The Endgame – An Irish Perspective.

The study examines the future of  Britain’s role in the EU, focusing on the potential dangers of a UK exit from the union.  Its contributors include Tom Arnold, John Bradley, Tony Brown, Brendan Halligan, Blair Horan, James Kilcourse, John McGrane and Edgar Morgenroth.

Four possible scenarios are explored, particularly within political and economic contexts and considering the implications for Ireland and the effects such a strategy might have on Northern Ireland and Irish-British relations.  The book is edited by Daithí O’Ceallaigh, former Irish Ambassador to Britain, and Paul Gillespie, Irish Times columnist and former Foreign Editor.

At a launch event scheduled for Thursday 26 March, speakers will include IIEA Chairman Brendan Halligan, Paul Gillespie of the Irish Times and John McGrane, co-founder of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce.  The evening will be moderated by Daithí O’Ceallaigh.   Books will be available for purchase at the event.

Recent Speech in Scotland

Brendan Halligan lecture "A Small State in a Large Union: The Irish Experience"Brendan Halligan recently gave a lecture on A Small State in a Large Union: The Irish Experience to the Europa Institute at the University of Edinburgh on 1 September 2014.

It focuses on the political strategy employed by Ireland throughout its membership of the European Union and analyses the principles upon which it is based.

While the experience of each state is unique to itself it is suggested that lessons applicable to small states in general can be drawn from the Irish experience. The evolution of the European Economic Community into the European Union over the forty-year period from 1973 is traced for its impact on Irish strategy.

The emergence of a “Core Europe”, consisting of the Eurozone, and the emergence of the “Union Method” of decision-making are both examined for their long run implications for the Union as a whole and for small Member States in particular.